People + Process = Performance

Top 5 Home (and Work) Office Ergonomics Mistakes (Part 2)

#3:  Chair height is too low

This is related to both #1 and #2.  Everyone is most comfortable when sitting with their feet resting comfortably on the floor.  However, if the desk is too high then this becomes an issue.  How do you know if your chair is too low?  Check your elbow height compared to your desk height.  If your elbow height is at or lower than your desk then your chair height is too low.  If this happens, a person will compensate by either sitting on the edge of their chair or pushing their keyboard/mouse farther away from the desk.  A good rule of thumb is the elbow height should be about 1” higher than the desk height.


#4:  Monitor(s) are positioned too high or too low

The most common mistake people make with their monitor is that it is at the wrong height.  In my experience, most people tend to error on having their monitor too high which causes them to look slightly upwards resulting in neck/upper back pain.  Conversely, if the monitor is too low, then the person looks slightly downward and this too results in neck/upper back pain.  The monitor should be positioned so that the top of it is just below eye level.  (Note: bifocal uses, the monitor height should be even lower).


#5:  Lighting—not enough or too much

In the workplace, the most common lighting mistake is too much light.  In the home the most common mistake is usually too little light.  The amount of light needed depends on the person (younger individuals require less light and older) and the task (computer only tasks require less light than computer plus paperwork tasks).  A clue that lighting may be an issue is if your eyes are tired by the end of the day. 


The home office can be just as challenging, if not more so, than the work office in setting it up correctly. You’ll be well on your way to a comfortable and productive home office workstation if you avoid making these 5 common mistakes.