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Make your home office work for you

Man sitting at desk working on computer.
Blog

/ by Peter Gray, LAT, ATC

Written by Peter Gray, LAT, ATC, athletic trainer with UK HealthCare Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine.

Now that many of us are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to know how to set up our home workstations so that we can stay productive and prevent any physical strain. A poorly designed workspace can increase your risk of repetitive strain injury resulting in neck and back pain, wrist and shoulder pain, eye strain, headaches, sciatica or hip pain – all of which can decrease productivity and overall health.

The goal is to arrange your home office environment so that you can maintain a neutral posture and remain comfortable throughout the day.  

Here are 11 tips for an ergonomic home office workstation:

Office Equipment

  1. Use a chair with a dynamic seatback so that it can adjust to you and provide lumbar support. The back should be positioned so that the curve of the lower spine is supported by the curve in the back of the chair.
  2. Set the top of your monitor at eye level. This prevents you from spending all day looking up or down and straining your neck.
  3. Remove glare on your monitor by changing the light settings or closing blinds.
  4. Use a document holder and keep essentials in line with computer screen.
  5. Keyboard height should be equal to your seated elbow height.
  6. Keep monitor and keyboard directly in front of you.
  7. All work services should be stable.

Posture

  1. Make sure your feet are supported by the floor or footrest.
  2. Your wrists and hands should be straight and not arched with your shoulders relaxed when using keyboard or mouse. (Proper keyboard height discussed in no. 5 will help with this.)
  3. Keep your arms and elbows relaxed and close to body.
  4. Take frequent microbreaks. Stand up, re-adjust your eyes, walk around or stretch.

Extra advice

Add indoor plants and use natural light to create a better indoor experience. To optimize productivity maintain a routine, limit your distractions and make time for exercise. 

Health matters. Stay home, stay safe and thrive in your home office.

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