Ergonomically Optimize Your Work Space while working from home.

16 June 2020

Aching back plaguing you at the end of the workday? Headaches and eye fatigue making your day a drag? Do fingers and wrists feel like they are full of pins and needles, or something equally unpleasant? While most of us might chalk these symptoms up as a negative to simply getting older, the truth of the matter is these could all be direct results of how our workspace is configured. Back and neck pain, eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis are all examples of work-related injuries we can suffer by simply sitting at our desks, and represent one of the fastest-growing categories of reported injuries. So, now that we are all acutely aware of our posture, how can we help protect ourselves from such injuries and ailments? The answer is proper ergonomics!

Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them. In other words, the practical application of proper ergonomics will yield a comfortable and efficient workspace, while decreasing our risk of personal injury.  When looking to improve our workspace, we will want to focus on the placement and configurations of our furniture and equipment. Below are some areas to focus on and tips to help get us started:


  • Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair – no slouching!
  •  Adjust chair height to have knees level with, or slightly lower than hips
  •  Ensure feet rest flat on the ground – get a footrest if needed!
  • Adjust armrests so your arms rest on them gently when shoulders are relaxed.


  • Top of our monitor should be roughly 2-3 inches above eye lev
  •  The monitor should be centred above the keyboard.
  • Screen(s) roughly arms-length distance away.
  • Reduce glare/reflections from windows and lights as much as possible.


  • Use a headset with office phone to eliminate phone cradling.
  • Keep phone within easy reach.
  • Position keyboard centred in front of body, and pull up close to it when sitting.
  • Keep wrist straight and flat when typing (ergonomic/curved keyboards and adjustable keyboard trays can help with this).
  • Keep mouse close to hand (similar to phone, avoid unnecessary reaching).

In addition to the physical arrangement of our home office furniture and equipment, we need to also be cognizant of our work/rest cycle. Be sure to take short stretch breaks throughout the day, and give yourself 5-10 minutes or so of movement or stretching for roughly every hour of work. Additionally, remember to rest your eyes throughout the day by simply closing them or looking away from your monitor(s).