Is Your Work Set-up Working?

With the push to remote work, I get asked more frequently than ever what is a good work set-up.


Before we break down the “perfect work set-up”, it’s important to remember you can not expect yourself to have “perfect posture” for your full work day. Posture is not meant to be static. It’s okay, and normal, to move in and out of different postures. When posture becomes a problem, is when we settle into a less than advantageous position for prolonged periods of time.


First, if possible, a height adjustable desk is ideal. Alternating from sitting to standing assists with what we just talked about…. variability of posture.


Second, set a mental timer (or actual timer) to remind you to change positions every 30 minutes to an hour. Give yourself a quick 1-2 minute break at this time. Walk to get a glass of water, do a couple gentle active stretches, foam roll, maybe just lay on the bed for a second. Giving yourself these timed breaks will help you to avoid staying in less than advantageous positions. It will also make you more productive for the next 30-45 minute block of time.


When seated to work, here are a few metrics to compare to your current work set up

  1. Sit all the way back in your chair. Your thighs should be about parallel with the floor

  2. Your feet should touch the ground. If you’re too short, consider adding a step stool or stack of books under your feet

  3. Keyboard and mouse height should be about the same as when you have your elbows bent to 90 degrees to your side

  4. If looking straight ahead, the top of the screen should be directly in your line of sight


When standing to work, use these metrics to improve your work set-up

  1. If you do not stand for prolonged periods of time normally, consider alternating wearing supportive shoes when you are standing

  2. Keep your knees soft, avoid locking them out

  3. Keyboard and mouse height should be about the same as when you have your elbows bent to 90 degrees to your side

  4. If looking straight ahead, the top of the screen should be directly in your line of sight