Tips for Setting up an at Home Workstation

Many Calgarians are finding themselves working from home and are unsure how to best use their space in order to decrease the strain on the body. Have you found yourself working from the couch, slouched forward, with shoulder, neck or arm pain by lunchtime? Hopefully there are a few tips in this blog to help you set up your workstation to increase productivity and decrease discomfort. We might be in this for the long haul Calgary, so get comfy!

The gold standard is finding an adjustable height chair, with an adjustable height work station. This is not realistic in most homes, but we can strive to meet the same recommendations with what you have around the house.

First off you want to think of an appropriate space at home to set up as your workstation. This is ideally a space you can dedicate to be your work desk, without having to set up and take down through the day. Then the remaining big things to think about are the chair, computer placement, keyboard placement, mouse placement, and phone placement.

When you are deciding on a chair one big thing you want to look for is having your back supported with both feet resting flat on the floor with your thighs close to parallel to the ground. Try out a couple chairs that you have around the house and find the one you are most comfortable in. You want to be able to pull your chair in close to the desk or table in order for your hands to be close to the keyboard and mouse so your elbows can remain neutral at your sides.

Now you will want the computer screen to be about an arms length away from you and the top of the screen to be at eye level when you look straight ahead. Your keyboard should be at a distance where you can reach it comfortably with your arms at your side and your elbows at 90 degrees with the G and H keys at the centre of your body. Place the mouse so that if you pivot your elbow the mouse falls directly under your hand.

Laptops present a challenge. If you are able to set the laptop up for the keyboard to be placed at the right height the screen will most likely not be at the appropriate height. If you are going to be working from a laptop long term the recommendation would be to use a separate keyboard and mouse attachment. You can use the same recommendations for setting up a desktop screen, keyboard and mouse for height and distance.

When possible use your video conference options on your laptop instead of holding your phone. Same goes for phone calls. Whenever possible try to use a speaker phone option instead of holding the phone to your ear.

Extra tips

Try to set yourself up with a view of outside. The sunshine can go a long way to help with productivity and energy through the day.

Set boundaries – make sure you use your normal work day with set work hours, and unplug for the night.

Still take breaks! Even if you set up your workstation to the gold standard you still need to take breaks to rest your body. Something small and easy such as standing up and reaching your arms up to the ceiling will work. Now that you are at home, you might be able to stretch more often without feeling silly and wondering if coworkers are staring at you.

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us and we will try to help as best we can right now!
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