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Home office ergonomics: How to set up your at-home workstation

With Michigan instituting a Stay Home, Stay Safe policy, a lot of workers are finding themselves suddenly working from home. For some, Wednesday may have been day one, for others you may have had more time to work out the kinks. Kapnick’s risk management expert, Amy DeKeyser, passed along a few tips in setting up your at‐home workstation so you may have the best ergonomic experience. While not everyone has access to ideal office accommodations, it is important to utilize what you already have in your home to the best of your ability.


  • Choose an area of your home with the ability to avoid household noise and foot traffic.
  • A proper workspace on a hard surface is important. Do not set up shop on your couch or soft seating. This will not support your back and will create soft tissue pain.


  • When choosing a chair, find one that can be adjusted so your feet plant firmly on the ground creating a 90-degree angle in your legs. If this is not available, a foot rest should be used. Avoid having your feet from dangling.
  • If possible, utilize a chair with arm rests so your elbows are supported again, creating a 90-degree angle to your work surface.
    • Unsupported elbows or over-reaching to access your work station can create muscle tension in your wrists, neck and shoulders.
    • If you are experiencing this, reposition and you will notice relief in these areas rather quickly.


  • Your keyboard should be within easy reach.
  • Avoid using the “kickstands” in the back of the keyboard if possible. Raising your keyboard to an angle creates unnecessary tension in your wrists. If the keyboard is flat, your wrist is naturally in a resting position.


  • To position your monitor, follow the above steps first. Once positioned properly create a fist and lift your arm straight out in front of your face. Place your monitor so your fist is in the center of the monitor, both for height and distance.
    • This will alleviate eye strain from your monitor being too far away, and neck strain from your monitor being too high or too low.


  • When working at home, you may find yourself more likely to sit for long periods of time. It important that you stand and stretch often. Take a break from the screen to relieve your eyes and take a walk around.


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