• Health

Office ergonomics 101

So you haven’t quite hit it big to the point where you can hire an ergonomic consultant to make sure your home office is OSHA compliant. No worries friend, you’ll get there.

In the meantime here are some ergonomic guidelines for your workspace, we hear your neck, back, and fingers are important to productivity/life in general, so it’s probably best to keep them all in good shape.


Adjust your chair height so you feet rest comfortably on the floor (if they don’t, you can use a footrest or a stack of books). If your chair doesn’t have lumbar support, put a cushion between the curve in your lower back and the chair. And if you want to get fancy, purchasing a proper ergonomic chair can be investment, however, it is also an investment in your body and bones.

Key object position

Keep the objects that you use most frequently as close to your body as possible. You shouldn’t have to lunge across your desk to reach your phone, stapler, etc…If you can’t reach something comfortably while sitting, stand up to retrieve it.

Mouse position

Your mouse should be within easy reach next to your keyboard, and you wrist should be in a comfortable position while using it. Check out some of these ergonomic mouse pads and wrist rests if you aren’t already using one.

Wrist rest

Use a wrist rest to minimize stress on your wrists and prevent strain or injury. When typing your hands and wrists should hover above the wrist rest. During breaks rest the heels or palms of your hand on the rest.


Your body should be centered in front of your monitor and keyboard. Sit up straight, with your thighs horizontal with your knees and aligned with your hips. Your forearms should be level or tilted up slightly. Posture is key for not only a comfortable workday but also, life in general. Studies show that people with poor posture die two years earlier than people with proper posture.

Desk dimensions

As far as I am concerned a desk is a desk, and as long as you can adjust your chair to the proper height and you have enough clearance under for your legs then the depth and width of the desk isn’t so important.

Monitor height/distance

Your monitor should be directly in front of you about an arms length away (about 18 to 28 inches). The top of the screen should be a little below eye level.

Check out this ergonomic assessment tool for more information about making the perfect ergonomic workstation and exact measurements based on your height.

Freelancers, sit up straight!

Ashlee Christian is from the north-side of Chicago and will never stop saying "pop" or eating pizza with a fork and knife, so please stop trying to change her. Follow her on Twitter @nomadnation