Home Office Support

Work from Home Ergonomics

Are you working from home thanks to COVID-19? I bet you are starting to feel some discomfort and ready to get help! Many people enjoy the benefits of working from home but never thought they would be at it this long. It’s time to do some things to make your workstation set up at home more workable for you. If you are ready for some help, please feel free to use our contact page to reach out and learn about getting a remote ergonomic consultation of your work from home set up. We have seen it all and have some practical recommendations to get you working more comfortably while minimizing the resources and equipment that you need!

Ergonomic Equipment is the “new toilet paper.” Items can be hard to find, and you don’t always know the best equipment you will need. Site Solutions has been working for the last several months with vendors to understand what equipment is readily available and worthy of your time and money.

Ideal Set Up

Ergonomic Office Setup

Adjust your chair

  • Shoulders low and back
  • Adjust armrests to elbow height
  • Adjust backrest to provide lumbar support
  • Body position back, no reaching forward
  • Feet supported either on the floor or footrest
  • Legs bent at 90º to 120º angle

Position your keyboard and mouse

  • Wrists straight
  • Keyboard height=elbow height
  • Keep keyboard and mouse beside each other at the same height, flat or on a slight negative level

Position your monitor and documents

  • Use monitor risers to raise screen
  • Monitor distance: 18” to 36”
  • Monitor height should be at or slightly below eye level
  • Document holder in line with monitor & keyboard

Take micro-breaks and move often

The Basics for Setting Up at Home

  • Determine the best work location. Do you need privacy for online meetings or conference calls? A quiet secluded room is more ideal than a high traffic area for concentration.
  • Consider lighting sources. Lighting from windows will change throughout the day and can create glare. When this happens, you will tend to lean forward to see your screen, which will cause back and shoulder discomfort over time.
  • Consider creating a dedicated workspace with a desk or alternate work surface (table or laptop stand).
  • Take mini-breaks. Getting up to get a glass of water, or stretch out your hands, fingers, shoulders, legs, etc. is the most important thing you can do. Our bodies are meant to move, and taking 30-60 seconds away from the screen and computer every 20 minutes is the best gift you can give your body.
  • Consider setting up two spaces to work—one for sitting and one for standing. An ironing board or kitchen counter make great standing workstation options. Alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day to decrease static postures. Alternate workstations between conference calls. These are meant to be temporary, short term standing breaks. You should not stand like this all day; use it as a break between zooms or for one zoom a day to alternate positions.
  • Consider this, tilting your head forward even 30 degrees is like asking your neck and spine to carry an extra 40 lbs.
  • Read more Pitfalls of a Home Office Setup

Using a Laptop

  • Laptops are not ergonomic and contribute to neck, hand, wrist, and shoulder discomfort. They were designed for shorter periods of use, not for all-day use.
  • Purchasing an external keyboard and mouse can alleviate many discomforts.
  • Many household items can be repurposed to make your work set up more comfortable.



Using a Kitchen Table

  • The kitchen table is often too high for typing and mousing.
  • Add a smaller adjustable table to support the keyboard and mouse. Arms should be positioned at a 90-degree angle, with keyboard and mouse desk height about 1-2 inches below elbow height. Shoulders should be relaxed.
  • Raise your monitor, so the top part of your monitor is eye level.



Using Items from Home

  • Don’t have a great chair? Use pillows or rolled-up towels to create lumbar support and better cushioning for your dining room chair.
  • Chair is too high, and your feet don’t touch the floor? Use a box or binder to support your feet on a solid surface. Using a footrest, box, or binder and sitting fully back against the chair will position the body in a neutral sitting posture and provide better lumbar, mid, and upper back support.
  • Want to add seat pan tilt to your chair? Use a small binder placed under your thighs.
  • Desk is too high? Raise your sitting height by placing pillows on the chair seat.
  • Ironing board makes a great standing workstation because you can adjust the surface’s height to accommodate your body height.


If You Don’t Have

a Great Chair or Desk
  • Adjust chair fit using towel rolls or pillows.
  • If sitting on the couch, add pillows behind your back to ensure you sit upright. A small laptop table can help you position your laptop at an appropriate height. Make sure your table has enough room for an external keyboard and mouse.
  • Take frequent “micro” breaks and alternate sitting and standing during breaks.

I Want to Stand

There are a lot of options out there for standing. However, purchasing the wrong equipment can create a new set of issues for you.

Adjustable Height Table

Most people prefer adjustable height tables, but they are not all created equal. Allsteel, Uplift, Flexispot, Workrite, Humanscale, and HAT have good sit/stand tables options. Height Range is everything! If you are shorter, the inexpensive tables you see on Amazon will likely not lower enough to be at an appropriate height for you while sitting; you may not be any better off than you were at your kitchen table.

Tabletop Sit/Stand Devices

Most tabletop sit/stand devices are created to sit on the top of a table. They are great at being able to be moved from place to place. They will add 1-5 inches to the height when sitting and be too high for many people. If you are working at a kitchen table or taller counter, this is not a good option.

Create a Bi-level Table

Raising your monitor on a counter or table and placing a rolling table underneath for your keyboard and mouse is a practical and inexpensive option to create a workstation that works for you. The table below is an affordable rolling laptop cart that can be used to sit or stand and place your keyboard and mouse at the correct height while your monitor is also at the correct height. This set up cost less than $100.00 to achieve by purchasing the rolling laptop table and external keyboard and mouse for the laptop.

Common Recommended Equipment