How to setup your workstation

Are you working from home and starting to notice more stiffness and pain in your back and neck. You’re not really sure what to do about it.

Well keep reading as I will be showing you my top three things that you can do at home to improve your work station. Set up. Let’s get started.

Hi, my name is Robert Kappes from Action Physiotherapy here in Brampton.  I want to welcome you to part one of four on how to manage neck and back pain when working from home.

So I want to know. Have you guys noticed any more stiffness in your neck and back now, after working from home, do you find that at the end of the day you feel more tired and drained of your energy?

Are you aware that your workstation is not ideal but don’t really know what changes to make? Well you are not alone and I am here to help.

All right, so let’s help you set up your workstation. So we are going to look at three main things here to help you have a better workstation set up.

One is the chair and how we’re sitting in it.

Two is the desk,

and number three is the monitor.

So first, before we begin, let’s grab a couple books, make sure they are pretty thick.  I would also like you to get a towel as well.  So the number one thing I want you to work on is how we’re sitting in the chair. Doesn’t matter what chair you’re sitting in. I unfortunately have been dealing with a lovely folding chair, which is pretty much the worst chair in history.


But I am going show you how to use this chair effectively. So the number one thing I want to focus on, is making sure that your knees are not higher than your hip because what that does it causes a compression in the hip and causes us to around our back, causing more discomfort and pain.

So what we’re going to do to fix that is going to use your two books and wrap them up in your towel that we’ve got and then you’re going to place them on your chair.

Now, when you sit down on your chair, you can see that your hips are actually a little bit higher than your knee. Just a slight slope going down is going to help you prevent any rounding at the back and compression of your hips.


So step number two. You want to make sure your forearms are sitting flat in a 90 degree angle? What that’s going to do is prevent us from reaching, because when we reach using the mouse that causes a significant amount of tension in our neck and shoulder and that’s where a lot of our tension and pain is.

So you’re going to bring that chair closer to the desk so that you can have your forearms resting nicely on the table so you don’t have to reach for your mouse.


So the next thing we’re going to do is make sure that our monitor is at a slight angle here. So that we are looking just down slightly at it. So we’re not looking too far down or too far up just slightly below eye level.

And what that does is make sure that we’re not getting our heads looking forward and causing tension. If you’re working from a laptop. You’re gonna find it very difficult to obtain this position.

So what you’re gonna do is make sure you get a book and your going to elevate the laptop on the book. But to do that, you’re gonna need then a wireless keyboard, and that is the key to working from home.

Using a laptop, you’re going to need a wireless keyboard. Otherwise you are going to be crunched over at your desk. That’s going to cause you more pain and discomfort.

So again, just to recap, you want to make sure that your hips are higher than your knees, make sure your forearms are resting at 90 degrees and you want to make sure the screen level is slightly below eye level.

So why is having a workstation set up properly important?

Well, chances are when you were at work,  you probably already had some muscle aches and pains. Now transfer your workstation to home. You’re probably going to notice 10 times the amount of that pain.   We have been successfully helping our clients on virtual physiotherapy set up their workstations and I want to be able to share this information with you. In our next blog, we are going be covering how to manage your stiffness and pain during your work day, which is an important aspect of pain control.

So if you would like some help setting up your workstation, click here to book a virtual appointment where I can help you set up your own workstation.  I hope you found this information helpful and I look forward to continuing this conversation with you.

Robert Kappes, Registered Physiotherapist

P.S please check out our video we performed on this topic here on Facebook.