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What are office ergonomics?

Another common question that I get following helping someone with pain related to sitting, whether it be upper back pain, lower back pain or headaches is, “ how do I set up my workstation, to avoid this in the future?” So what are office ergonomics?

A good question which leads us to the study of ergonomics, (the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.) efficiency being the key word here. When your body is in an inefficient position it needs to work harder to do the same amount of work and thus fatigue faster leading to strain and joint irritation. Who needs that?

Symptoms that might relate to poor office ergonomics include; back pain, neck pain, headache, eyestrain, elbow and wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

A couple of key things to keep in mind; the next time you’re at your desk, or perhaps you’re already there reading this.

  • 90/90/90 rule– keep the elbows, hips and knees bent at a 90 degree angle when sitting
  • Support– support the elbows and forearms on arm rests, keep your back against the chair’s backrest and feet on the floor or if unable on a foot rest. Keep body parts close to your body, don’t reach. This might mean using a keyboard tray or using a track ball mouse.
  • Breaks– even with perfect posture your body isn’t meant to sit all day, so take regular breaks. Take microbreaks every hour for a couple of minutes not just for your body but for your eyes as well, get up move around, stretch then get back to work.
  • Sight lines– The monitor should be at or just below eye level, laptops pose a problem here as their screens tend to sit lower, an external monitor is an inexpensive fix.

If you’re having pain at work get in touch

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