Ten Ergonomic Tips for Setting up Your Home Workstation

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 7, 2010

Two-plus years working from the couch and kitchen table had my back and wrists all cranky, to say the least. I recently set up a permanent workstation, taking into account some best ergonomic practices. As a result of my mostly minor modifications, I’m happy to report that almost immediately my back and wrists responded graciously. Here are some ideas for your office:

1. Keep your head aligned over shoulders; don’t stretch your neck forward.

2. Your eyeballs should be looking straight ahead, not up or down. To achieve this, the top of your monitor needs to be no higher than eye level. You might need a riser to help lift your laptop or monitor to a good, eyeballs-dead-center position. A chair with adjustable height may help here as well.

3. Sit as far away from the screen as is comfortably possible.

4. Shoulders should be relaxed and comfortable, not raised or hunched forward.

5. Keyboard should be at seated elbow height. This really helps with keeping shoulders relaxed and lowered and is the one thing that can make or break many backs. (Laptop users: Consider installing a real keyboard at your workstation.)

6. Elbows should be at a 90-degree angle. Again, a keyboard tray can work wonders here.

7. Typing wrists should be straight, parallel to the floor. Support nontyping wrists with a wristrest or armrests. (Laptop users: Consider installing a real mouse at your workstation.)

8. Support the curve in your lower back. Either your chair must have some sort of lumbar support or a pillow or backrest achieves this.

9. Feet flat on the floor or footrest.

10. Take breaks. Move. Really. It helps. A lot.

Good luck and happy, ache-free computing to you.

Keri Calhoun
Operations Manager
BatchBlue Software
Providence

Reader Comments

Tony

April 7, 2010 4:18 PM

I have an adjustable desk that can go from sitting to stool to standing. Helps a lot. I also us an exercise ball part-time as a seat. Helps the back. Also, have a heat massage pad to use at times. Still have a lot of back pain and feet going to sleep.

ergonomiclaptopstand

January 5, 2011 7:38 PM


A good place to start is a large office supply store that has dedicated knowledgeable staff members purposely working in the computer department. Often, these employees are computer gurus; they tend to be honest and forthcoming about the better brands, and readily share their tried and true favorites. These stores do have sales, and many have a clearance board as well of more pricey models that just need to be moved for new inventory.

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