April 1

7 Ergonomic Tips for Working From Home


What we initially assumed would be a temporary work-from-home situation has become the norm for many. Despite the increase in Americans who are continuing to work at home either full- or part-time, most of them have been left to figure out on their own how to set up a healthy and productive workspace. As a result, many people are experiencing pain or stiffness in the neck, shoulders, or back, along with increased stress and anxiety levels. 

According to a 2020 survey from the American Chiropractic Association, 92 percent of chiropractors surveyed said that patients reported more neck pain, back pain, or other musculoskeletal issues since they began working at home. Poor posture, sedentary lifestyles, increased use of tablets and smartphones, and long days in front of a computer can lead to chronic neck and back pain, headaches, and muscle tension.

Follow These Tips to Improve Your Home Office Environment

Proper workplace ergonomics include ensuring you have the correct positioning, posture, chair, and tools to work without strain or fatigue whether you’re working from home or in a traditional office environment. Follow these tips to improve your workspace and make working at home less stressful on your body.

1. Watch Your Posture

Good posture is more important than most people think. Research has shown that correct posture and positive body language can influence hormones linked to disease resistance. The key to good posture is the position of your spine. The Mayo Clinic has an excellent slideshow on good posture tips. Poor posture can lead to numerous problems, including: 

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

2. Dedicate a Table or Desk for Computer Use

The worst places to work are your couch or bed. Neither was designed to support your neck and spine while working on a laptop. The table or desk you work at should be the right height for you. If it sits too low or too high, it will force you to lean forward or backward, causing slouching and misalignment. Make sure the things you need for work are within easy reach.

3. Get a Comfortable Chair

The chair you choose is an essential factor in your comfort. Your feet should be placed flat on the floor. If your feet don’t reach the floor, use a footrest to provide support. Use a cushion, pillow, or towel behind your lower back. Make adjustments until you find a comfortable seated position. Investing in a high-quality, ergonomically designed chair with lumbar support is a good decision.

4. Treat Your Laptop as a Monitor

Chronically looking down at a laptop puts you in a forward head position that places pressure on discs and joints, as well as causing muscle imbalance in the neck. If you have to use a laptop, put it on a stand or stack of books. Using an ergonomic cordless keyboard and mouse will make using a laptop for extended periods more comfortable.

Using a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse is better than using a laptop for extended periods. Your eye level and gaze are an important part of sitting ergonomically. Whether sitting or using a standing desk, the top of your laptop or computer monitor should be at or slightly below eye level when looking straight ahead. If you use two screens, try to position them equally on each side. 

5. Keep Moving

Your body needs regular movement. Set a timer on your phone and take a break every 30 minutes or so. Stand up, move around, adjust your posture, or take a quick walk. The benefits of daily exercise are numerous. Along with better physical health and weight control, studies have shown that even small amounts of regular physical activity can elevate mood, enhance creativity and improve concentration. 

6. Schedule Your Day

Like working in a traditional office environment, be sure to schedule your days with a regular lunch break and other short breaks. As much as possible, establish set working hours. Many people find that working from home leads to working longer days which means sitting longer and increased stress on the neck and spine. Establishing routines can help alleviate the physical and mental stress that often comes with working from home.

7. Manage Your Stress

It’s a well-established fact that stress impacts mental and physical health. Stress increases the chances of aches, pains, and injuries. Find stress-reducing activities that work for you. Regular exercise, deep breathing, listening to music, or taking a walk outdoors are just a few things you may find helpful. Yoga and meditation have proven health benefits. A few simple yoga stretches during regularly scheduled breaks throughout the day can release tension, ease stiffness, and calm anxiety. Meditating at the end of the workday can be a good transition from work to personal time. 

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Scheduling regular chiropractic appointments is a great way to stay aligned physically and mentally. If you are suffering from back, neck, or shoulder pain, regular chiropractic care can decrease pain, improve mobility, and restore your health. 

If you’re ready to take the next step in achieving relief and overall wellness, contact the team at The Bluffs Chiropractic & Family Wellness today. Dr. Joshua Lippincott has been serving patients for over 12 years and is passionate about helping people achieve their best possible health. Contact us online or call (636) 326-2525 to schedule your initial consultation. 


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