Working from home? Make your setup work for you! 

By Todd Sparks PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

After more than two years of pandemic life, many of us are no longer strangers to the idea of working from home. When everyone packed up their computers and set up shop at their desks, kitchen tables, or even their bed or couch, nobody knew that the switch to remote working would be permanent. With the switch to remote working, we saw a significant increase in cases of low back pain and neck pain due to having a poor set up of home office space. With just a few simple steps, you can adjust your setup to be more ergonomic and reduce your risk of neck and back pain down the road.

  1. Find a comfortable chair- your feet should rest flat on the floor and your knees should create a 90 degree angle at the edge of the seat. The armrests, if applicable, should be at a height where your elbows rest naturally on them while your shoulders are relaxed. No hiking those shoulders up to your ears!
  2. Your monitor should be at eye level once your chair is set up. If you are using two monitors, the one you look at the most should be directly in front of you. If you switch between two monitors frequently or use both monitors equally, set them up side by side so that the point where they meet is directly in front of you to reduce how much you have to turn your head.
  3. Your keyboard should be at elbow level with your forearms creating a 90 degree angle. It should be easily within reach- think T-Rex arms! If you are using a laptop, it may be beneficial to use a wireless keyboard and mouse so that your monitor can stay at the ideal eye level height.

Following the steps above will set you up for success to keep working from home without increased pain!