Apply Ergonomic Best Practices When Working from Home or on the Road

Work from Home Ergonomics

Employees should apply sound ergonomic principles, even when they are not in a traditional office environment.

Whether working at home or while traveling, musculoskeletal injury risk from working at a computer can be reduced with proper posture, good work habits and appropriately adjusted equipment. The following tips should help minimize potential risk factors and maximize your comfort.


  • Use a desk between 28-30 inches in height, a height that allows your elbows to bend at a neutral/natural 90-degree angle. Desk thickness should not exceed 2 inches.
  • Allow for adequate leg room with a minimum of 18-inch depth and 24-inch knee width.
  • Desks should provide depth to place the monitor at least 18-20 inches from the user.
  • If a desk is not available, use a dining table with a height-adjustable chair. Refrain from working on a kitchen countertop or while sitting on the floor.
  • Refrain from using lap desks for long periods.


If possible, use an adjustable chair with the following features:

  • Pneumatic height adjustment
  • Lumbar back support
  • Height-adjustable seat back with locking function
  • Adjustable depth seat pan
  • Padded armrests that are height and depth adjustable with rounded edges (Optional)

Additional considerations include the following:

  • Consider sitting on a small, moderately firm pillow to place the seated elbow height at the level of the keyboard and mouse. A thin pillow can be used to provide additional support to the lower back.
  • Refrain from sitting on very soft couches; they do not support the body evenly during extended sitting.
  • Stand, stretch and/or walk after sitting for two hours.


  • Utilize a keyboard and mouse if possible.
  • If the desk height is above 30 inches, consider a height-adjustable keyboard tray.
  • Ensure the mouse is next to the keyboard.
  • Ensure that keyboard and mouse cord lengths are adequate and free of tangles or use wireless peripherals.
  • The keyboard and mouse should be near the edge of the table.
  • Avoid planting the wrists during keyboard and mouse use.
  • Use a small rolled-up towel or a gel wrist rest for palm support when typing.
  • When using a laptop for prolonged periods, use an external keyboard and mouse.


  • Position the monitor directly in front of the body at roughly an arm’s length away.
  • Dual monitors should be positioned more than an arm’s length away and in an arc.
  • Large monitors should also be positioned more than an arm’s reach.
  • The top two-thirds of the monitor(s) should fall within eye level.
  • Use a small box, reams of paper, books, etc., to raise the height of the monitor(s) or laptop.
  • Position monitors away from direct sunlight.

Office Accessories

  • A footrest is often needed to support the feet when your chair is raised to work at the desk height.
  • Consider a headset if you are on the phone for more than two hours per day.
  • Use a document holder or angle a clipboard near the monitor, and view documents at/or close to the same height as the monitor.
  • Use a small box, reams of paper or a phone book to support your feet if a footrest is not available.
  • Use a speakerphone for long or frequent calls if a headset is not available.


  • Change the orientation of the workstation if glare or reflection is present.
  • Task lighting can be used to highlight documents and desktop areas.
  • Lamps with diffusers or shields can help reduce glare.
  • Light from lamps should not directly face the eyes.
  • Avoid facing windows without shades or curtains.

Learn More about Ergonomic Control Measures

Ergonomic Control Measures - Seated Work

Read Now

We’re Here to Help - Contact Our Loss Control Consultants Today

Great American’s team of Loss Control experts builds on years of experience to help businesses prepare for and stay protected from different types of loss. Interested in learning more? Talk to our team of experts.


For additional Loss Control guidance, please visit the Plan & Protect safety hub.

Loss Control Categories

Take proactive action to prepare for different types of loss.