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How to Create an Ergonomic Home Office: Tips for a Healthy and Comfortable Work Space

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The modern work environment has evolved, as well as our understanding of what makes up a healthy workspace. With more people than ever working from home, there is a whole new list of challenges, including knowing how to create an ergonomic home office that is healthy and comfortable.

The goal is not only about ensuring short-term comfort but also about long-term well-being and productivity. If you’ve found that the corner of your living room or that makeshift office under the stairs is starting to take a toll on your neck, back, or general sense of well-being, it might be time for a home office makeover.

Man working at his home office

Creating an ergonomically healthy home office doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul of your workspace. Rather, it involves making conscious adjustments to support proper body posture and mechanics, from the placement of your keyboard to the lighting in your workspace.

Here are seven expert-backed tips to ensure that your home office is as friendly to your body as it is to your productivity.

1. Choose the Right Chair and Desk

Your desk chair is the foundation of your home office comfort. To create an ergonomic home office, look for a chair that is adjustable, with proper lumbar support. Your feet should be flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90-degree angle, and your arms should rest comfortably at your sides with your elbows at about the same angle.

If your chair is too high, for example, it could lead to increased pressure on your thighs, while a chair that’s too low might cause you to slouch and hold your neck in an unnatural position.

One option gaining popularity is the standing desk, designed to allow you to switch between sitting and standing positions throughout the day. As explained by the team from, standing desks with adjustable heights can help reduce back pain, increase energy levels, and improve overall posture.

If this is an option for you, ensure your keyboard and monitor are at the correct height to prevent strain on your neck and wrists.

2. Adjust Monitor Height and Position

The position of your monitor is crucial for reducing eye strain and maintaining a neutral neck position. Your screen should be an arm’s length away, with the top of the monitor at or slightly below eye level. Tilt the screen so it’s perpendicular to your line of sight, which can help minimize the need to bend your neck and encourage you to sit back in your chair properly.

In many cases, using a monitor stand or stack of books to raise the screen to the appropriate height can make a significant difference. Alternatively, investing in a monitor arm allows for easy adjustments and frees up valuable desk space.

3. Optimize Keyboard and Mouse Placement

Another key part of knowing how to create an ergonomic home office is optimizing your keyboard and mouse placement. Your keyboard and mouse should be placed close enough that you can use them with your upper arms close to your body and your elbows at your sides.

Your wrists should be in a neutral resting position, with your fingers slightly lower than your wrists, to minimize strain and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

Consider using a keyboard tray that can be adjusted to the proper height if your desk does not provide enough clearance. For the mouse, an ergonomic design can help keep your hand in a more natural position and reduce the risk of discomfort.

Remember to keep these tools clean and free of debris to maintain their effectiveness.

4. Illuminate Your Workspace Wisely

Proper lighting is an often overlooked aspect of a healthy home office. Position your desk to take advantage of natural light, which is preferable to harsh overhead lighting or the glare from computer screens. Use curtains or blinds to control light levels throughout the day.

If your office space lacks natural light, look for a task lamp that can provide directed, adjustable light to reduce eye strain. LED lights are a great choice as they produce less heat and can be found in “daylight” or color temperatures that mimic natural light.

5. Organize With Ergonomics in Mind

A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind and can also impact your physical health. Keep commonly used items within arm’s reach to avoid overreaching, which can lead to shoulder and neck discomfort. Use organizational tools such as shelves, files, and trays to keep your space tidy and make finding things easier.

If your job requires frequent reference to physical documents, consider a document holder positioned at the same level and distance from your body as your monitor. This can help reduce the need to constantly twist and strain to see the materials you are working with.

A desk with a laptop, monitor, pen and notebook set up in the proper position to create an ergonomic home office.

6. Take Breaks and Move

No matter how well you create an ergonomic home office, sitting for prolonged periods is not good for your body. Aim to take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. Stand, stretch, or walk around for a few minutes to give your body a much-needed break. There are even apps and devices that can remind you to move if you’re prone to getting caught up in your work.

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine to counteract the sedentary nature of office work. This can be as simple as a walk or bike ride before or after work, or a quick workout during your lunch break. The key is to get your heart rate up and your body moving, even if it’s just for a short burst.

7. Personalize Your Space

The ergonomics of your home office are not one-size-fits-all. Personal preference plays a significant role in creating a workspace that feels comfortable and encourages productivity. While certain guidelines should be followed, don’t be afraid to experiment with different setups to find what works best for you.

Incorporate elements that make you feel good and inspire you, whether it’s a splash of color, a plant, or meaningful artwork. The more you enjoy your space, the more likely you are to spend time there and the more efficient you’ll be while working.

Final Thoughts on How to Create an Ergonomic Home Office

By prioritizing ergonomics in your home office, you’re not only investing in your health but also in your ability to perform your best work. Take the time to assess your current setup, making the necessary adjustments to create a workspace that supports your body and mind. Your future self will thank you for the reduced aches and pains, and your productivity and overall happiness will likely see a boost as well.

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