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Ergonomic workplace – you have to pay attention to this

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 141 views

An ergonomic office workplace can counteract poor posture and the resulting pain and tension. Chair, desk and screen should be adjusted correctly – whether in the office or in the home office. What does an ergonomic workplace look like? Read that here.

Back pain, a tense neck and headaches : Many office workers know these complaints after a long day at the desk. With the right settings of office chair, desk and screen, you can reduce the strain. This is equally important in the office and home office.

Office chair: the right setting

In order for you to be able to adapt your chair to your individual needs, it must meet these minimum requirements:

  • height-adjustable seat
  • height-adjustable backrest
  • ergonomic shape of the seat and backrest (support of the natural lumbar spine oscillation through the bulging of the backrest)
  • Height of the backrest: should reach the shoulder blades
  • Rounded edges of backrest and seat

The following properties of the chair also have a positive effect on your spine:

  • depth-adjustable seat
  • adjustable angle of inclination of the seat
  • height-adjustable armrests
  • free and lockable rocking of the seat with synchronous coupling of seat and backrest
  • good suspension
  • non-slip and skin-friendly covers
  • adjustable neck support

This is how you set up your workspace so that it is back-friendly by perfectly adjusting your office chair :

  • Adjust the seat depth so that the back of your knees are approximately 3 cm from the front edge when you are sitting with your buttocks back and in good contact with the backrest.
  • Adjust the seat height so that your thighs are level or slightly sloping forward. Try out which position is most comfortable for you.
  • Raise the armrests to a height where your elbows are relaxed and your shoulders are relaxed.
  • Adjust the backrest so that it optimally supports your spinal vibrations. The protrusion of the backrest should lie exactly in your lumbar lordosis (= swinging of the lumbar spine forward).
  • Try out whether a horizontal seat or one slightly tilted forward (up to approx. 15 degrees) supports your upright posture better.

With a predominantly forward (front) sitting posture, a slightly forward-leaning seat is often perceived as relieving. If you frequently switch between a front and back (reclined) sitting position, the neutral horizontal position is often preferred because it makes leaning easier.

Desk: ergonomic setting

The desk, or its correct setting, can also promote your health at work. You should have these minimum requirements at your desk in the office and at home:

  • The height of the desk should be adjustable to your height (when seated!).

Also cheap:

  • An additional standing desk or a height-adjustable desk makes a significant contribution to supporting the sit-stand dynamic.
  • A tiltable work surface (10 – 30 degrees) is good for frequent writing or drawing by hand, as it makes it easier to maintain an upright posture thanks to a higher viewing angle

How to find your correct table height

Sit straight in front of your desk with your arms and shoulders relaxed. Now put your forearms on. Your elbows should now be bent at right angles and only slightly touching or ‘hovering’ over the work surface.

When working on a screen, the middle row of keyboards should be at elbow height. If the table is too high, your shoulders will hunch; if the table is too low, you will have to bend forward and head forward. In both cases, your shoulder and neck muscles react to this with (painful) tension over the long term.

The right desk

These days desks come in all shapes and sizes. Read more about how to find the right desk .


For an ergonomic workplace, you also have to consider the requirements for the screen :

  • flicker-free with at least 72 Hertz or even better over 90 Hertz
  • Freedom from mirrors and reflections
  • Rotatability and tiltability
  • positive representation
  • Contrast and brightness adjustable
  • Seal of approval for tested safety (GS)

The correct position in space

To avoid reflections and reflections, place your monitor as parallel as possible to the window. If there are windows opposite or behind the screen, dim these light sources with blinds or the like. There should also be no lighting directly above the screen.

distance and height

Your screen should be about 50 to 90 cm away from your eyes. Test for yourself which is your individual optimal screen position. Since the position of the head depends on the viewing direction, the screen height should allow you to look horizontally to slightly downwards. As a rule of thumb, if you are sitting upright in front of the screen, the top of the screen should be at eye level.

Leave enough space between the keyboard and the edge of the table to comfortably rest your wrists.

Tips and troubleshooting

Even if your office furniture at work or in your home office does not meet the above requirements, you can significantly improve your “sitting situation” with effective little tricks and tools. You can usually obtain the suggested aids from medical supply stores and specialist orthopedic retailers.

  • The seat height of your office chair cannot be adjusted and the chair is too low: raise the seat, e.g. B. by a wedge cushion or a ball cushion.
  • The chair is too high: put your feet on a small rise, such as B. a footrest or a block of wood.
  • The angle of your seat is not adjustable: place a wedge cushion on the seat if you prefer the forward sitting position.
  • The backrest does not provide enough support for your lumbar spine: attach a lumbar pillow to the backrest.
  • The height of your work desk is not adjustable: First adjust the seat height so that it optimally matches the height of the desk. If you then sit too high, i.e. your feet do not have firm contact with the floor, use a footrest or shorten the table legs.
  • If, on the other hand, you sit too low, ie your knees are too high when bent at right angles, then place the table legs underneath. Otherwise you will be forced into a straining hunched back posture by the low work surface. First adjust your seat height correctly and then place the table legs underneath so that the work surface is at the optimum height.

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