5 Tips for an Ergonomic Workspace

Now don’t get me wrong, I set myself up on the couch with my computer on my lap and cup of tea so I’m ‘comfortably’ working just like everyone else… but then, like everyone else, I get back pain, neck pain and stiff hips and legs. Not such a ‘comfortable’ set up after all.

So throwing on my OT hat, let’s talk about an ergonomic set up for your work station and why it can be SO beneficial.

Three main benefits of having an ergonomic work station:

  1. Decreased discomfort and potential injury to the spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles, both short and long term. Let’s just say – your whole body!
  2. Less strain on your eyes
  3. Improved productivity – your concentration is improved when you’re more comfortable.

Now, how do you do it? Check out these five tips:

  1. Measures: It’s important to have things set up at the right height for you, whether you’re sitting or standing. Some key points:
    – Your feet should be flat on the ground or flat on a small inclined platform
    – For seated: A couple of fingers width between the back of your knees and the seat, thighs parallel to the floor, hips at 90 – 120 degrees (slight recline)
    – For seated or standing: Elbows in close to your torso and 90 – 120 degrees, minimal bend in wrists to use a keyboard.
  2. Back support: Unless you’ve got a great ergonomic style backless chair or stool, you’re going to want a chair with good back support. We all have great intentions of sitting on a fit ball, but unless you’re incredibly mindful and have great core control, you’re going to end up slouching on it and defeating the purpose you started with. Choose a chair that supports your lower/lumbar spine and allows for a slight recline in your posture to support your upper back also.
  3. Monitor: The screen should be tilted about 10 – 20 degrees and placed about an arm’s length from your face. The top of your screen should be at eye level or up to 20 degrees lower, so you don’t have to tilt your head to see the whole screen.
  4. Headphones: Hands-free, speaker, headset, however, you want to do it. Even though most of us are using mobile phones, you would be surprised how much you tilt your head while you’re chatting on it. Headphones are a game-changer for the neck posture, particularly if you’re spending a lot of time on the phone.
  5. Breaks: It seems simple, but it’s often the most simple things that are easiest to NOT do. Please, if you only do one thing, take breaks every 30mins. Move your body, stretch and change your posture. I created this little 5-minute RESET, most of which can be done seated, to stretch the most common culprits and give your posture a little love. You can watch the 5 min video here for the full demo!

So there it is.

Your little reminder to think twice about your workstation whether it’s at home or back in the office, I hope this helps with any of those niggles you might be feeling!


If you would like to see more workouts like the one attached to this blog plus videos on Pilates, yoga, mindfulness, health tutorials, recipes and more, then you can access a free 7 day trial of our Online Community here.

Please note: This information is intended to help inform and increase your awareness, however, it is not designed to replace an individualised assessment from your chosen health care professional to ensure you get the correct information for you. Please get in touch if you would like more personalised support in this area.

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