Working from Home: How to Sit at Your Desk Correctly

by Tina Huynh

COVID-19 has unexpectedly forced many people around the world into working from home due to public health concerns. However, not all of us have proper space and setup equivalent to that of an office. Sitting on the couch or bed with the laptop on your laps for long hours is probably not ideal for your physical health. Even for those who have a proper office setup, sitting all day in wrong positions can cause chronic neck pain, back pain and other problems.

Whether you are a full-time remote employee or just temporary due to the current situation, you could definitely use some tips on maintaining a correct posture that will prevent you from physical pain and other health issues. 

What is the right posture?

The easiest way to tell if you’re sitting in a wrong position is to listen to your body. Whether you’re at a desk, table, couch or bed, you should never feel strain or discomfort at any part of your body. Your body would tell you if something is not quite right. Try to consciously put in an effort to check if you’re slouching. Sitting or standing in the same place for more than 15 minutes at a time causes most people slouch. 

To get technical, a proper posture includes your feet flat directly underneath your knees. The angles between your upper legs and body should be around 90°. Avoid having legs dangling from a tall chair by using a prob to rest your legs on. Also avoid sitting in a cramped position. Your spine should be in proper alignment instead of leaning forward as you type or look at your screen. Adjust your shoulders so that they are stacked over your ribs, and your ribs stacked over your hips. This would not only help prevent Scoliosis in the long run, it would help a lot with lower back pain and chronic neck pain. 

Rest your arms on either the chair’s armrests or desk to form a right angle. Ideally, your screen should be at an arm length away from your eyes, and at a height where the top of the screen is at eye level (illustration). With those working on a laptop, a laptop stand with separate keyboard could make a real difference.

How to improve posture when you don’t have a desk

Jon Cinkay, a physical therapist and coordinator for body mechanics at HSS (Hospital for Special Surgery, NY, US) provided body-friendly ways to make the most out of your workspace when working from home through the diagrams below:


Read the full article here:

Breaks are necessary

Even when you’re sitting in the correct posture, your body needs breaks. Standing up to stretch, walk or move your body around every 30 minutes is recommended. Stretching would loosen up any tense muscles and also helps you reset your posture.

Check out our previous posts on working from home tips:

7 Tips to Alleviate Computer Eye Strain:
5 Ways to Stay Sane While Working from Home: 

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