By definition, ergonomics is the “applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely”, but in practice, it takes the form of setting up your office in a way that benefits your physical and mental health.

Remote workers rely on their home offices to foster a productive environment that limits distractions. Today, we spend even more time than ever in front of our screens. But, did you know that your computers, desk, and chair setup could actually be contributing to your health problems and mental fatigue?

The biggest goal of ergonomic practices is to maintain a neutral spine. The following tips will help set your office up for maximum benefits:

Put your desk at the right height

The ideal height for your desk puts your keyboard and mouse at elbow height when you are seated. When deciding on a desk, put your arms at your sides and comfortable bend your elbows to picture the perfect height.

Screen or monitor placement

Laptops, with their screen and keyboard connected, make ergonomics difficult. However, if you work on a desktop system, make sure your monitor is in a position that when you look at the center of the screen, your eyes are looking slightly down. Additionally, you want your monitor to be at least an arm’s length away from you.

Keyboard type

When shopping for a new keyword, the tilt of the keys becomes important. Keeping ergonomics in mind, try using a flat or “negative-tilt” keyword. You want to avoid keyboards that “tilt-up” or when the top keys are higher than the bottom keys. This will help avoid wrist strain throughout the day.

Adjust your desk chair

Adjustable chairs are great for office comfort and ergonomics if you know how to correctly adjust them. To do this, start at the bottom. You want both feet flat on the floor, thighs parallel to the ground, and then adjust the other settings. Most importantly, you want a chair that supports your spine’s natural S-shape. This means that your barstools or kitchen chairs just won’t cut it.

Combining all these elements can take some creativity. Once you play around with it, your setup will help create an office environment that is both physically healthy and mentally stimulating for your work-day.