How to set up an ergonomic work station

How to set up an ergonomic work station

Published: Aug 26, 2021

Sitting for long hours at your desk can strain your back and neck and lead to chronic pain down the road. Here’s how you can set up an ergonomic workstation, whether you’re working from home or in the office.

#1 Keep shoulders relaxed

  • Adjust your armrests so that they’re the same height as your desk.

  • Your forearms should rest at a 90- to 120-degree angle.

  • Your shoulders should be relaxed, not hunched (raised) or slouched when you’re typing.

#2 Support your spine

  • Your chair should support the natural S-shaped curvature of your spine, especially the inward curve of your lower back (lumbar).

  • If your chair lacks proper support, you can place a firm, curved cushion between your lower back and the chair.

  • Or better yet, buy a lumbar pillow online.

#3 Plant your feet on the ground

  • Adjust the height of your seat so your feet lay flat on the ground, your knees bent at a right angle.

  • If that’s not possible, get an adjustable footrest.

#4 Set your screen at eye level

  • Your neck should be relaxed while you work; the best angle for your screen is at or slightly below eye level so you don’t need to look up or down.

  • Get a laptop stand or prop your monitor up with some books if needed.

#5 Place your screen at arm’s length

  • The monitor or laptop screen should be about 50 cm away from you, or about an arm’s length.

  • Adjust the font size so you’re not straining your eyes.

  • Tilt the screen if there’s glare.

#6 Elbows by your side when typing

  • Ideally, your keyboard should be close enough that you can type while your elbows remain comfortably by your sides.

  • The same guideline applies when using a mouse; you don’t want to be extending your arms for a long period while you work.

More tips for better posture

  • Working from home? Avoid working in bed as that puts a strain on your spine.

  • If you must work in bed, make sure your back and neck are supported and you’re not slouching.

  • Take frequent active breaks: a five-minute stretch or walk per hour will help relieve tense muscles.

  • Maintain good sitting posture: Don’t slouch or sit up overly straight in your chair, and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.

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