Tips to improve your at home work space

Proper home office ergonomics help prevent injuries, ensure pain-free motion and maintain your overall health. Changing tasks, standing up, stretching and looking away from the screen, even momentarily, can help reduce injuries. Set up your work space to be comfortable and prevent long-term strain.

Adjust the height of your chair

If possible, adjust the height of your chair so your feet are sitting flat on the floor. If you don’t have a height adjustable chair, you can use a pillow to elevate yourself. Ideally you want your elbows at the same height as your work surface.

Sit as far back in the chair as possible. Use a rolled up towel for additional lumbar support so the small of your back is supported.

Position your monitor

Keep the monitor at a height that keeps your neck straight. Ideally the middle of your screen should be at eye level.

Use a monitor riser if necessary to raise your screen (a book or box can also work).

Distance the monitor around 45 to 60 cm away from your body (if you feel you have to lean forward to read your screen, it is too far away) and ensure that your monitor is placed directly in front of the body to avoid twisting.

Adjust your screen brightness

Set your screen brightness to the darkest setting to diminish contrast and avoid making your eyes strain.

If using a keyboard, consider

Your keyboard should be at elbow height. Elbows should be at 90 to 110 degrees and wrists should be neutral (straight).

If using a mouse, consider

Place your mouse as close to the keyboard as possible to avoid rotating the shoulder to use it.

Keep your wrists straight when using the mouse and avoid gripping it too tightly. Move the mouse from the elbow, not from the wrist.

When talking on the phone, consider

Use a headset or put your phone on speaker if you’re talking for long periods. Avoid cradling the phone in your neck as this causes strain.

Elevate your feet periodically

Putting your feet up periodically and straightening your legs improves circulation. When sitting, you your hips and thighs should ideally form a 90-degree angle.

Get up and move routinely

Consider standing up and moving after you hit a ‘task completion objective’. Set up a chunk of work that takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete and once completed, take a standing and movement break.