HomeHealth articlesergonomics of the home workspaceHow to Improve the Ergonomics of the Home Workspace?

How to Improve the Ergonomics of the Home Workspace?

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Creating a perfect ergonomic workspace, either at home or office, will help one to work comfortably at ease and be successful. Read below to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Mohammed Wajid

Published At June 9, 2022
Reviewed AtJune 8, 2023


The COVID-19 pandemic has created a scenario worldwide wherein all enterprises were encouraged to work from home irrespective of the size or nature of the work. Hence, people all over the world got adapted to this new normal way of work-life called ‘home workspace’. It is mandatory to have an ergonomic workspace both at home as well as in the office in order to be more productive and avoid any physical injury.

What Is an Ergonomic Workspace?

The term ‘ergonomic’ refers to the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products, and systems in such a way that they suit the people who use them and thereby make them more productive and safe. So, setting up an ergonomic workspace is very similar to adjusting the car seat based on one’s comfort before beginning to drive. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to ensure that one’s workspace was not only comfortable but also safe and hygienic since many people worked from home and the spread of infection was the major cause of concern.

How to Improve the Workspace Ergonomically?

When it comes to home office arrangements, many people make use of the resources which are already available in their homes. Even though it may be suitable for a few, it is always recommended to find the right furniture for one’s workspace since it can prevent physical fatigue and other health-related problems in the long run. This does not mean that the workspace has been improved by just having convenient chairs and tables. It is dependent on other factors such as:

  • Posture.

  • Lighting.

  • Frequency of movement.

How to Choose a Desk?

Many people use the tables that are already at home such as dining room tables or kitchen tables, which may not be very ideal. The desk that one uses must fit the following:

  • Knees.

  • Thighs.

  • The sole of the feet.

This is the most basic and essential requirement of a desk, and should not be ignored.

What Should the Height of the Desk Be?

The height should be correct irrespective of the type of desk. The ideal position of the keyboard and mouse should be at the height of the elbow when used and the height of the desk is also influenced by the position of the monitor. The correct viewing position is that the topmost line of the monitor should be parallel to the eye level. Some of the desks come with adjustable heights. Hence, this can save the trouble of finding the correct desk based on one’s comfort as it allows the height to be adjusted based on our requirements.

The desk with the right height should be as follows:

  • The angle formed by the forearm and upper arm should be between 90 to 110 degrees when the arms are at rest on the desk.

  • The legs should fit comfortably under the desk if one sits with the feet flat on the floor, and there should be enough space to cross the legs.

  • The general height of the desk should be 73 cm (centimeter) plus or minus 2.5 cm.

How Important Is It to Have a Good Chair?

Working from home may be very hectic for some people as it requires one to be seated in the same position for nearly eight to ten hours a day. Hence, it is very essential to select the correct chair which will not only serve its purpose but also allows one to work at ease without causing any back and neck-related problems.

When selecting an ergonomic chair, one should consider the following factors:


When seated, the feet should be placed flat on the floor, and the thighs must be horizontal. The chair should also be at a proper height such that one does not hit their knees on the desk while sitting or standing up after work. The majority of the chairs have the option of adjusting the height which makes it easy.


Chairs with armrests that allow one to rest their elbows on the chair must be preferred. The armrest should support the entire length of the forearm while using the keyboard, mouse, or when performing certain tasks. Also, it would be better if the armrest is adjustable according to the required height since one can manipulate the height to a comfortable position while working.

Backrest and Lumbar Support:

The backrest should have proper support and be in a naturally curved shape to support the back, especially the lower back. Also, tilting and reclining backrests are very useful as they can minimize the pressure on the back significantly. If in case a reclining chair is required, it is important to make sure that they can recline to a minimum of 135 degrees backward. The more adaptability the chair offers, the more ergonomic it will be. Hence, choosing a good chair that will improve efficiency as well as reduce spine-related health hazards is important.

What Is the Correct Sitting Posture?

Having a good chair and desk alone does not improve ergonomics. Keeping the back hunched and keeping the arms in an improper position can have a harmful effect. Hence, maintaining the posture is also equally important. To keep the back, spine, and neck free from injury, one should avoid bending the neck and always keep the head vertical to the neck.

The hands and wrists should be properly rested and must always be in a neutral position. The arms should be placed flat by extending them forward and making sure not to pivot them on the wrist. The shoulders should be kept relaxed, and the arms should maintain an angle of 90 to 120 degrees with the elbow while sitting.

It is very important to keep the backs supported all the time and maintain an upright sitting position with the backs at 90 degrees. This may not always be possible so a slight backward tilt is acceptable provided there is enough lumbar support from the chair. The back of the knee should not hit the edge of the seat as it can interrupt the blood flow to the legs and cause the feet to swell.

How to Position the Monitor Properly?

The monitor should be positioned properly in the following ways:

Proper Environment Setting:

When speaking about ergonomics, the workplace environment, like light, temperature, and conveniences, too play a major role.


The position of the light should be in a way that it does not create a glare both directly and indirectly on the computer screen. It is not advisable to sit in areas of low lighting or in the shadows of one’s sitting position.


The ambient temperature suitable for working is dependent on the individual, and hence it is important to optimize the room temperature based on one’s comfort. The heat generated from the workstation should also be considered while setting the temperature. Soft lights can be used to reduce the warmth in the room.

What Are the Behavioral Changes Required to Achieve Proper Ergonomics?

The behavioral changes are as follows:

Computer Glasses:

Keeping the eyes fixed on the computer screen for a long time can cause fatigue of eye muscles, and hence a computer glass is recommended. This will filter the blue lights that are emitted from electronic devices like computers, smartphones, televisions, and so on and reduce the stress caused to our eyes.

20-20-20 Principle:

The 20-20-20 principle can be followed. For every 20 minutes spent working on a computer screen, one can try spending 20 seconds looking at an object which is about 20 feet away. This helps reduce eye stress.

Take a Break:

One can take small breaks in between, stretch the back and legs and go for short walks. The aim is to attain maximum comfort without any effect on one’s physical health even when at home and to provide a break to the eyes whenever possible from the digital screen. One must not skip mealtime, avoid snacking in between work, and always be hydrated to maintain good health. Walking for a minute every 30 to 40 minutes will help avoid stress on the lumbar and cervical spine.


The new normal work-from-home concept has made many people suffer from pain and discomfort. Severe back pains, strain injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented by practicing home ergonomics. There are various simple and affordable options available to make work life less painful and more productive. By making one positive adjustment, one can slowly work their way towards creating a perfect ergonomic workspace.

Frequently Asked Questions


How to Overcome Ergonomics Problems?

Ergonomic hazards can be solved by removing risk factors like tools, equipment, design of the job, and work area. This is called engineering controls.
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Mohammed Wajid
Mohammed Wajid



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