Office Ergonomics and the Proper Way to Arrange Your Workstation

Office ergonomics is a routinely overlooked hazard that workers face today. Often times even the workers themselves are unaware of the hazards they are dealing with when it comes to a full-time office job. Everyone gets aches and pains, and they are often disregarded and ignored until they go away. What if they do not go away?

Knowledge is power when it comes to protecting yourself or your fellow office members from the strains of office ergonomics. Working in an office full-time can lead to minor injuries such as muscle strains and sprains all the way to Tendinitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. 

There are many ways to alleviate the risk of these jobs and it all starts with awareness of the issue and willingness to participate in making your workstation safer.  For example:

Desk Workers: Find your natural posture. Find the position to where your back is straight, arms relax naturally, and head can rest facing forward. You should not be reaching, bending or leaning over or looking up or down at your monitor.

This can be done by raising or lowering your monitor, using monitor stands or lowering or raising your chair. Place your mouse and keyboard in a manner to promote relaxation.

Monitors that are too close or too far can lead to a form of leaning or bending over creating tension and soreness in the back muscles. The back is the foundation to proper posture and reduction of ergonomic risk. If the back can maintain proper posture, then the head/neck and arm are easy to maintain.

Adjust your chair to the proper height where your arms can utilize the keyboard and mouse properly without unnatural displacement as well as monitor alignment with your natural view.

Tension is the leading cause of muscle tightness and aching which could lead to a strain or sprain when exerted. When a workstation is not set up properly, this leads to tension when reaching, leaning or slouching.

Overall, adjust your workstation and adapt it to your needs and natural comfort, do not adjust yourself to meet the setup of your desk. You must maintain a conscious commitment to your proper posture until your muscle memory takes control.

One of the biggest ways to make the workplace safer and obtain ergonomically friendly equipment is to get your management team involved. This can be done by pitching to management from the worker position on how important it is to implement an office ergonomic initiative to increase worker safety, productivity and morale.

Provide proper training to personnel on a routine basis and encourage early reporting of symptoms so actions can be taken to alleviate the issues prior to a major injury occurring.


A ProgressiveHealth Prevention Specialist is a health care professional who has the expertise to support and promote a safer approach to work.  They are skilled specifically in the detection, assessment and care of musculoskeletal discomforts and cross-trained to provide a variety of comprehensive preventive solutions including job assessments, ergonomic analyses, functional testing, work conditioning, and more. For more information, contact ProgressiveHealth at