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Home Office Ergonomics: Tips for Working from Home

Home office ergonomics is something many office workers have had to prioritise during 2020 as many of us adapt to working from home.  

But while an ergonomic home office set up is important to avoid or minimise injury and pain, it’s not something everyone is equipped for.  

In this blog we take a look at how to set up your home work station to stay productive and pain free. Plus, we also outline a few ergonomic pieces of equipment which could be of benefit.  

If you want specific advice about your home office, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of physiotherapists at North West Physio on 07 3353 3411.  

Working from Home: Common Health Issues  

Our clients who work from home are presenting with a range of common problems, including: 

  • Lower back pain from prolonged sitting 
  • Neck pain and headaches from the computer monitor being too low 
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) from increased use of computer mouse and keyboard.  

Work from Home Ergonomics 

Ergonomic setup of your work station is crucial to avoid repetitive stress injuries and strains. 

These are three factors to keep in mind.  

  1. Sturdy base of support 

Keep your feet touching the ground. Have your hips, knees and ankles positioned at an approximate 90-degree angle.  

2. Chair position: 

Your chair should be positioned close to your desk, so your arms aren’t extended too far away from your body. It’s important to keep your elbows close to your body. 

Also, it’s recommended to have your forearms parallel with the ground with the wrists in a neutral position. 

If you can’t get comfortable, you could use some pillows to give you extra height or support. 

3. Desk and screen positioning:  

We see a lot of patients present with neck pain which is commonly caused by working at a screen in the wrong position.  

Your desktop screen or laptop screen should be in line with your eyes to avoid any sustained neck movement which is too far up or down.  

For more advice about posture, stretching and exercise breaks while working from home, view our blog 5 ways to avoid pain when working from home 

Ergonomic Home Office Setup  

If you require ergonomic equipment, you can ask your employer (some businesses have an allowance for this!) or buy items yourself and claim them as a tax deduction.  

If you are experiencing pain, here’s some equipment to consider: 

  1. Ergonomic mouse: These can help your wrist and forearm stay in a neutral position.  
  2. Ergonomic keyboard: These are designed to keep the forearm in a more neutral position. There are even split keyboards which can decrease the rotation of the shoulders.  
  3. Sit to stand desk: During the day you should change positions every 20 minutes. This kind of desk can be raised or lowered and allows you to remain productive and mobile.  
  4. Adjustable monitor stand: This can raise your monitor to the right height, and can help to neck pain and headaches. 
  5. Adjustable foot rest: This can help your feet to remain at the right angle for comfort during the day.  

Home Office Ergonomics 

If you need further advice about setting up your home office, or help to treat any pain or discomfort, reach out to North West Physio today.  

North West Physiotherapy is your one-stop pain relief and healthy living practice in Brisbane. With four clinics across North Brisbane; Everton ParkKeperra, Eatons Hill and Nundah our aim is to provide holistic healthcare solution to suit your specific lifestyle. 

Our services include Physiotherapy, Sports PhysioHydrotherapyPilates, PodiatryDry NeedlingMassageWomens Health, and Seniors Strength and Balance Classes. Please note that services vary across our clinics. 

Appointments available 6am – 7:30pm Monday to Friday, and 8am – 12:30pm on Saturdays. Book online here or call us on 07 3353 4111.