Computer display height and desk design are believed to be important workstation features and are included in international standards and guidelines. However, the evidence base for these guidelines is lacking a comparison of neck/shoulder muscle activity during computer and paper tasks and whether forearm support can be provided by desk design. This study measured the spinal and upper limb muscle activity in 36 young adults whilst they worked in different computer display, book and desk conditions. Display height affected spinal muscle activity with paper tasks resulting in greater mean spinal and upper limb muscle activity. A curved desk resulted in increased proximal muscle activity. There was no substantial interaction between display and desk.