6 Essential Tips for Home Office Ergonomics

We asked Amanda Feeney, DPT, OCS, a physical therapist at Summit Orthopedics, for her insights on how to create an ergonomic home office that’s friendly on your joints.

Even though working from home may feel  like a short-term work environment, set it up as though this will be long term.

How to set up your office

For desk work, find a comfortable, supportive chair to use (not your sofa!) and a desk or table that is the right height:

  1. Maintain about a 90 degree bend in your elbow while forearms rest on your work surface
  2. You should place your screen at or just below eye level.  This can be a challenge if your work station uses a laptop, since the keyboard and monitor can’t have separate heights.  In that case, compromise between the right height for typing and the right height for looking at your monitor.
  3. Sit up tall.  If you need extra support between your back and your chair, roll up a towel to provide gentle lumbar support at the base of your spine.

Give your body variety

Here are some other ideas to reduce stress to your body when working from home:

  1. Get up often!  Set a timer on your phone to move around your home or office every 1-2 hours.
  2. Take phone calls standing up so you get out of your chair to move.
  3. Remember, our bodies like movement, so change positions often.  The perfect “ergonomic” set-up is not ideal for a whole day’s work.  Keep your joints moving and shift postures frequently.

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