Environmental Health and Safety

Ergonomics at home

Resources

Working at a laptop

Avoid working at a laptop for extended periods of time. Use an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard, if possible. Use a stand or books to raise the screen up to eye level. Your eyes should line up with the top of your screen. Set the screen about an arm's distance away.

Chair setup

Use a chair with back support and cushioning on the seat. For dining/kitchen chairs, put a towel or blanket behind your lower back area. Use cushions or pillows to raise your sitting height to better match the height of your worksurface. Your arms should be bent to about 90-degrees. If your feet cannot touch the floor when sitting at the appropriate height, use books or other flat items as a footrest so that your feet are flat on the surface, keeping your knees bent at 90-degrees.

Standing setup

To work at your computer while standing, follow the same position guidelines as sitting. The top of your screen should line up with your eye level. Keyboard and mouse height should be set so that arms are bent about 90-degrees. Wear supportive shoes and stand on a slightly cushioned surface like carpet, a rug, or yoga mat.

Lighting

To avoid eye strain, work in a well lit area, position your computer at a 90-degree angle from any windows to avoid glare or light shining directly at you. Use extra lights in the space as needed.

Take breaks

Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. During this same break, change your position, this could be switching to standing, shifting your weight, change uncrossing your legs, etc. Take a stretch break every so often, check out this poster for stretches that can be done at your desk.