Office Ergonomics: How to Increase Productivity at Work

office ergonomics OPT

Working in an office has many perks. Hopefully you get to work with kind people and do what you love. You also get to decorate an office, desk or cubicle space and use nifty office supplies. Despite these benefits, working at a desk all day can have a negative impact on your health if you’re not careful. We want you to enjoy what you do every day, so, we put together some instructive tips on office ergonomics to increase productivity, avoid fatigue and improve comfort levels while you work!

Learning a few things about office ergonomics will increase not only productivity, but also health, safety, satisfaction and energy. Whether you work from home or in an office, the same rules to ergonomics apply. Our informative guide, including tested tips and instructions, will help you learn about the fundamentals of good posture habits, working in a comfortable environment and maintaining mental and physical health.

office ergonomics Homemakers Furniture
office ergonomics Homemakers Furniture
office ergonomics Homemakers Furniture

Posture

How you position yourself at your desk makes a huge difference in your level of productivity. Creating positive posture habits, such as sitting up straight without crossing your legs, will help you be more comfortable all day long without creating pressure or strain on your body.

  • Working eight hours a day could mean you spend a third of your day sitting in an office chair. Make sure it’s supporting you!
    • Lumbar support is something you’ll want to test chairs for while shopping. Does it support your lower back? Having this support can help prevent back strain that could lead to sciatica.
    • Adjustability is also an important thing to look for. Can you adjust the height of the chair so your thighs are parallel to the ground with your feet flat on the ground? Arm width and height (allowing your arms to be parallel to the floor), lumbar support, seat and back angle and tension control are all things to look for. This will help customize the chair to fit your body perfectly.
  • Take five minutes to adjust the position of your computer monitor and accessories. Make sure your keyboard is positioned directly in front of the monitor and your wrists are curved (not resting) while typing. Your mouse should be near the keyboard. Your computer screen should be at least an arm’s length away from you.
  • Don’t slouch.
    • Pretend there is a string on top of your head. Now imagine reaching up to that string and pulling it into the air, straightening your body as it gets higher.
    • Keep the weight of your head above its base (your neck) and don’t crane your neck.
    • Scoot to the back of your chair. You can rest your shoulders back on your chair, but be sure you’ve got the right back support, as mentioned above. Relaxing them is better than hunching over!
  • Don’t cross your legs– it causes unnecessary strain on your back.
  • Consider a stand-up desk to relieve pressure on your back and hips. Homemakers has power desks that move up and down, so you don’t have to permanently choose to stand all day. Alternating between standing and sitting throughout the day can make a difference in preventing back pain.

Some of these things may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget to do these things as you try to stay comfortable throughout the day. Setting an alarm, or having a note on your desk can be a helpful reminder.

How are you sitting right now? Are your legs crossed? Are you slouching? Have you changed your posture for the better since reading this? We hope so! And we’ve created a printable reminder for you to download and post in your office space so you always have a subtle nudge to sit upright and improve your posture.

office ergonomics Homemakers Furniture

Click this infographic to print it out and keep it near your computer screen or wherever you are facing most often. One glance at this powerful poster will remind you to quickly improve your posture. Soon, you’ll create great posture habits!

Shop Ergonomic Office Chairs

  • Office Star Black Executive Chair at Homemakers Furniture

    Office Star Black Executive Chair

    Boost your productivity and comfort with this office chair. It has plush cushioning and a realistic faux leather seat. It features a gas lift mechanism, adjustable lumbar support with tilt tension and a lock mechanism. This is the perfect chair for personalized support.

  • Presidential Seating Desk Chair at Homemakers Furniture

    Presidential Seating Desk Chair

    The plush comfort of this chair will allow you to focus on your work, not on your back pain. The plush cushioning, contoured arms, gas lift height adjustment and swivel and tilt mechanisms make this desk chair perfect for optimized comfort and support.

  • Presidential Seating Executive LeatherPlus Desk Chair at Homemakers Furniture

    Presidential Seating Executive LeatherPlus Black and Chrome Desk Chair    

    This desk chair has plush cushioning, contoured arms and swivel and tilt mechanisms. The casters allow easy movement. The style of this chair provides a professional appearance to complement your office space.

  • Presidential Seating Desk Chair at Homemakers Furniture

    Presidential Seating Desk Chair

    Concentrate more on your work and less on your back pain with this chair. This chair includes many ergonomic features including breathable mesh backing, a mesh tension knob for personalized comfort, a pneumatic gas lift and the height of the armrests is adjustable.

Shop Standing Desks

  • Martin Furniture Hartford Sit/Stand Desk at Homemakers Furniture

    Martin Furniture Hartford Sit/Stand Desk

    This desk not only allows you to sit or stand at the touch of a button, but also it features two AC outlets, three USB outlets, and a charging shelf for electronics. It also has three drawers, a warm top finish and a dark base, making it versatile for any office.

  • Martin Furniture Fulton Sit/Stand Desk at Homemakers Furniture

    Martin Furniture Fulton Sit/Stand Desk       

    A desk that features an adjustable height range of 30 to 40 inches is perfect as it allows you to sit or stand, whichever you prefer. This desk includes two AC and three USB outlets in a concealed desktop power bay, a charging shelf for electronics and three utility drawers. This desk is essential for creating the perfect ergonomic home office.

  • Martin Furniture Motus Sit/Stand Desk at Homemakers Furniture

    Martin Furniture Motus Sit/Stand Desk 

    This desk features an adjustable height range of 30 to 40 inches. Its ability to change heights is complemented by its impressive functionality. It offers two AC and three USB outlets concealed by a desktop power bay, and three inset utility drawers, in addition to a charging shelf for electronics. The raw plank details and the dark metal accents make this a stylish, ergonomic must-have for your home office.

  • Coast To Coast Camden Adjustable Writing Desk at Homemakers Furniture

    Coast To Coast Camden Adjustable Writing Desk 

    If you’re looking to increase country charm as well as your productivity, this writing desk is the perfect option. It adjusts from 28 to 38 inches high. The industrial design will add a chic touch to your home office while allowing you to stand up or sit down while working.

Desk Organization

Your phone, papers and office supplies used on a daily basis should be within arm’s reach. This will decrease the chances of unnecessary muscle strain.

  • Your keyboard should be right in front of your body with your mouse close by.
  • Keep the amount of times you have to reach for something to a minimum by having what you need in an easily accessible place, preferably somewhere between your shoulders and waist, so it’s not too high or too low to access.
  • Be organized. Make sure your desk has enough storage for what you need whether it’s filing cabinets, a drawer dedicated to snacks and other necessities or a desk organizer.

Work Environment

Your surroundings are often out of your control, but noise, temperature and lighting can make a difference on your productivity and mood. Is it too cold? Too bright? These things factor into how much work you’re getting done.

  • Bring a blanket to work or keep a warm, cozy cardigan at your desk. If it’s too hot, consider a desk fan.
  • If the lighting in your office is unpleasant, try to face away from a window. If it is unavoidable, see if you can add blinds to the window or even slightly reposition your computer monitor.
  • Keep your screen perpendicular to overhead lights to avoid harsh lighting.
  • Surround yourself with color that encourages productivity and focus like blue or green. Check out our infographic on color theory for offices.
  • Add decorations and pictures to your space to create a more comfortable and welcoming place to work.

Health

Improving the ergonomics of your office can have beneficial impacts on your overall mental and physical health.

  • Is your screen right in front of your eyes? Be sure you’re sitting far enough away from your screen (an arm’s length away is perfect).
  • Taking breaks from your computer screen can help your eyesight as well as decrease headaches. Give your eyes a break with this 20/20/20 For 20 seconds, look at something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes.
    • The length of 20 feet is about as long as three mattresses, and fun fact: about as long as an adult male giraffe is tall!
  • Lastly, the advice you’ve all been dying to hear: If you’re feeling overwhelmed with other things on your mind, take a break! Your time will be better spent taking five minutes to walk or stretch and getting back to work more focused than before, rather than taking an hour to space off while staring at your screen, stressing out about the work you’re not focused enough to do.

Giving yourself permission to take five minutes to refresh your mind and body will help you be more productive. That’s a win-win situation! You will be more comfortable while working and you will get more work done which will make you (and your boss) happy.


Following these office ergonomics tips will help increase satisfaction at work and keep you healthy. Whether it’s finding a supportive chair or something as simple as moving your phone a few inches closer to you, we hope you learned something new and useful. Trust us- after making a few of these changes, your body, and your boss, will thank you. Now, get back to work!

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