by Lucinda Gunnin
Depending on what you use it for, finding the right computer desk can be more than just a matter of personal comfort; it can be about health and wellness, too. After all, repetitive stress injuries often occur when people are not seated in the right position for tasks like typing and other computer-based work. To choose the right computer desk for your needs, start by taking a realistic look at how you intend to use the computer and the desk, and plan from there. Below, you'll learn how to choose a computer desk.
Make a list. Make a list of everything that needs to be on or near the computer desk. This should include not only your monitor, tower and mouse, but also modems and routers, back-up hard drives, printers and scanners. Look for a desk that allows for easy flow of the wiring that connects all the peripherals. Also, make note of any non-hardware computer-related tools that you prefer to have on or in the desk, including software files, notepads and the like.
Decide on a filing cabinet. Decide if you want a filing cabinet that is part of your computer desk. For some home business applications, having the filing cabinet within arm's reach while working on the computer can be a huge benefit. If you already have a free-standing filing cabinet, this may be an unnecessary or wasteful addition to your computer desk.
Think about sitting. Sit in your computer chair and measure the distance from the floor to top of your thighs. Write this down, as this is the minimum amount of space you will want under the desk. You should also measure from the floor to where your hands rest naturally when you are typing or writing. This should be the approximate height for the keyboard and mouse drawer.
Consider other ergonomic factors. If the desk comes with a hutch, make sure it doesn't raise the monitor above eye level when you are seated in your computer chair. Most optometrists recommend that the screen sit about 20 inches from the face and that the center of the screen be about 15 degrees below eye level. If the desk will force you to hold your head at an angle or look up, consider a different desk.
Choose a style. Choose a style that fits your personal taste. Computer desks are available in pressed board, natural wood, metal, glass and in a variety of colors. You can choose one that matches the decor in the room or the colors of your computer and peripherals.