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Ergonomic Guide

How to ergonomically set-up your workplace

You’ve got all the essential components of the ergonomic workstation—the task light, the monitor arm, the keyboard support, and of course the ergonomic task chair. So now what? You may have the finest products on the market, but even the best of the best ergonomic tools need to be used properly to provide their full range of benefits.

Use the following guidelines to maintain healthy work posture and get the most out of your ergonomic investment.


1. Raise or lower your seat so your thighs are parallel to the floor and your feet are flat on the floor or a footrest.
2. Adjust the depth of your seat pan so you have at least 2” of clearance between the back of your knees and the front of the seat.
3. Adjust the height of your backrest so it fits comfortably on the small of your back.
4. Adjust your chair’s recline tension—if necessary—to support varying degrees of recline. Avoid using recline locks.
5. Lean back and relax in your chair to allow the backrest to provide full support for your upper body.
See Humanscale's selection of award-winning task chairs


6. Position your keyboard support 1 – 1.5” above your thighs and angle the keyboard so it slopes slightly away from your body. Be sure to keep your wrists in a straight, neutral posture while typing, and rest the heels of your palms—not your wrists—on a palm support.
See Humanscale's articulating keyboard supports


7. Position your mouse close to the keyboard—preferably on a mousing platform—to minimize reaching. Avoid anchoring your wrist on the desk. Instead, glide the heel of your palm over the mousing surface and use your entire arm to mouse.
Check out the ergonomic Switch Mouse


8. Position your monitor at least an arm’s length away with the top line of text at or just below eye level. Tilt the monitor away from you slightly, so your line of sight is perpendicular to the monitor.
See Humanscale's selection of dynamic monitor arms


9. Position your task light to the side opposite your writing hand. Shine it on paper documents but away from your monitor to reduce glare.
See Humanscale's complete range of ergonomic task lights


10. Align your monitor and the spacebar of your keyboard with the midline of your body. Arrange frequently used work materials within easy reach to minimize twisting and reaching.


11. Take two or three 30- to 60-second breaks each hour to allow your body to recover from periods of repetitive stress.