The Perfect Home Office Setup

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Your home office setup will have a huge impact on how much work gets done and how you feel, both physically and emotionally.

Working from home may easily lead to a compromise in the ergonomic setup of our work space, which can have a detrimental effect on your health and productivity. In a nutshell, your home office needs a correctly adjusted chair and desk. Here is a simple 3-step guide.

1. Setup your home office Chair

FACT: Your chair and it’s setup is the single most important component of your home office.

The first step is to adjust your chair to suit your body, and the best method of doing this is away from the desk. What is the correct office chair height?

home office setup
Best home office setup
  • Sit back in the chair with your back positioned against the chair backrest.
  • Adjust the seat depth so that there is a gap of 2-3 fingers between the inside of your knees and the front edge of the chair seat.
  • If available, adjust the lumbar support so that it fits snugly into your lower back. If there is no lumbar adjustment, roll up a small towel or use a cushion for added support.
  • Adjust the armrests so that your elbows rest comfortably on the arm pads with an elbow angle between 90 and 1200
  • Your head should be upright and over your shoulders.

Now move the chair towards the desk.

2. Desk

Once you have setup your chair correctly, your desk or table is the next component in your home office that needs attention. Adjust the height of the desk to approximately the height of your elbows.

  • If the desk cannot be adjusted or is too high in it’s lowest position, raise the height of the chair and use a footrest to support your feet. If you don’t do so, you will end up having to lift your shoulders so that you can work. This ‘lifting of shoulders’ will stress the muscles in the shoulders and lead to shoulder pain.
  • If the desk is too low, do not lower the height of the chair to accommodate the desk. If you lower the height of the chair, you automatically cancel out the correct chair setup. Rather raise the desk surface by either placing blocks under the legs of the desk, or using a book or document holder to raise the keyboard and monitor.
  • Your wrists should reach the keyboard in a neutral (straight) position.
  • 9 important tips for setting up your study desk and chair.

The final step for the best home office setup is to adjust the position of your monitor.

3. Setup your monitor in your home office

  • The top of the monitor should be at eye level and approximately an arms length away.
  • Tilt the monitor upwards at an angle between 10 and 200
  • The monitor should be placed to avoid any glare from windows and other lights. Incorrect brightness and contrast settings on the monitor may result in eye strain.
  • If necessary, use an adjustable monitor arm.

Working from your home office can improve comfort in your daily working life, provided you have the right equipment and it’s setup correctly!

Author: Ronel Hendry
Office Ergonomics Risk Facilitator at Karo Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd
23 Feb 2021 (rev 1)

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