Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:24

Five top tips to help you work more comfortably at home Featured

Below are my five top tips which I hope will help you work more comfortably at home. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more great tips and suggestions for you. Facebook: DSE Solutions Ltd     Instagram: simondsesolutions


Written by: Simon Revington-Dean, Managing Director DSE Solutions Ltd


Top tip number 1

The correct height of desk or table is crucial as a starting point to encouraging good seated postures.
Use a desk that is at a height that you can use your keyboard and mouse with you shoulders relaxed and your forearms horizontal to the surface of the desk (dining room tables are generally too high for this and will cause neck, shoulder and back pain).
With your forearms horizontal to the surface of the desk your feet should be firmly on the floor or a footrest (having your feet unsupported will cause poor circulation and fatigue.
Get these two angles right and you are off to a great start!

Top tip number 2

Plan your working day and think about where you can work most comfortably.

Working in a place that offers good natural daylight and additional artificial lighting when needed is very important. This will enable you to focus on data more comfortably and reduce eye strain and stress, particularly if you are using a laptop. Also plan short regular rest breaks and stretch at least once during the morning and again during the afternoon.

We recommended that you should take a 2-3 minute break away from your desk every hour and a 30-60 minute break after approximately four hours working. However, you may benefit from longer or additional short breaks if you suffer from frequent or chronic pain.

Stretches should always feel comfortable and each stretch should be carried out slowly and in full control. Please seek advise if you are unsure about how you should stretch safely.


Top tip number 3

Screen height and distance. If you are seated at the correct height in relation to your desk (tip 1), you have planned where you can work most comfortably and you are taking regular rest breaks (tip 2); the next most most important consideration is not your chair but your screen height and distance. Having a supportive chair is of course important, however, if your screen height and distance or incorrect you will have poor seated postures even on the most adjustable of chairs.

Your screen needs to be approximately 70cm from your eyes (a full arms length is a good guide) with the top of the screen at eye level and of course with the screen directly in front of you. This will keep your neck and head well balanced and prevent you from slouching forwards at your desk. Looking down at your screen, even for short periods, will cause tension to your neck, shoulders and back and will eventually lead to pain somewhere in your upper body. If you haven't already I would encourage you to invest in a height adjustable computer monitor, or even two if you switch regularly between different tasks or platforms. Better still attach your monitors to an adjustable monitor arm, this will allow you to adjust your monitors to the most comfortable height and distance easily and will improve the space available on your desk.

Laptop/tablet; laptops and tablets should only be used as a laptop or tablet for very short tasks or presentations. When using these devices for more than 15 minutes connect a separate keyboard and mouse to create a safe distance from you and the screen. This will also enable you to raise the screen to a safe and comfortable height.
If you use a laptop or a tablet as your main screen or even as your second or third screen always raise it on an adjustable stand. This allows you to create a safe height and distance from your eyes. If the laptop is your main screen ensure the laptop is directly in front of you. However, laptop screens are typically too small to view data on for long periods so much better to connect the laptop to a separate monitor or monitors.

Top tip number 4

Keyboard and mouse position. Not overstretching when using your keyboard and mouse is so important in preventing back, shoulders and neck pain and also inflammation to the shoulder joints, elbows and wrists which can result in repetitive strain injuries (RSI). The risk of inflammation increases tenfold by working with the arms extended whilst using a standard computer mouse.

Using a chair with height adjustable armrests that support your arms naturally and comfortably at desk height is the simplest way to prevent you from leaning forwards onto the desk. However, if you currently have a chair without armrests tuck yourself as close to the desk as you can so that your forearms are supported comfortably by the desk with the elbows as close as possible to the line of your shoulders (elbows bent). You will need to move the keyboard and mouse forwards slightly if you need to work in this way.

This is a big and complex topic, particularly if you are experiencing pain during or after using the keyboard and/or mouse. However, we are currently offering free video call assessment if you would like any advice on how to improve comfort at your workstation. This is a great way of identifying what might be causing pain and identifying which products are the most suitable for you. You can book your free assessment by simply messaging us directly using the message link or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Avoid placing paper documents between yourself and the keyboard as this is a big cause of over stretching. If you need to refer to paper documents throughout the day invest in a document holder that sits between your keyboard and monitor, our Flexdesk document holder is an example of a suitable product; you can find this product in our DSE Store.


Top tip number 5

An adjustable office chair. Purchasing an office chair can be a minefield with so many different choices available. This may feel even more difficult if you are experiencing pain when seated and you are looking for a chair that is going to give you the support you need. Please ask if you are unsure about what adjustments you should look for in your chair, I will be happy to help. Or request your free video call assessment.

Here are my top five tips when looking for a new office chair...

1. Pick a chair that offers at least a 5 year warranty. This typically puts the chairs into a range that they will have good adjustable features. The more adjustable the chair the more likely you will receive the support you need. The most adjustable and reliable of chairs will have a ten year warranty.

2. Ignore any chairs where the backrest is connected to the seat (as pictured). This style of chair is designed for meetings or as a visitor chair not as a DSE office chair. Having the two pieces connected means that you will not be able adjust the backrest to support you properly.

3. Pick a chair with adjustable armrests. Your seated postures will be much better by using a chair with armrests that can support your arms naturally and comfortably at desk height. It is very important that the armrests adjust in height but the depth and width of the armrests is also important and they need to be suitable for you, if the depth and width are incorrect for you it won't matter that the armrests are height adjustable because you won't be able to use them. One size of chair or armrest does not fit all.

4. The most adjustable office chairs offer forward pelvic tilt and it is this mechanism that causes the huge jump in price from more standard office chairs. However, the quality of the chairs with this mechanism and warranty that they come with makes them well worth the investment. The forward tilt ensures the lumbar spine remains supported as you move at your desk. It is this movement that prevents pressure from building for too long on the lumbar discs and will prevent or reduce back pain when seated. These chairs are designed to make you sit correctly and are commonly used to support the most severe of lower back conditions, it's just a matter of identifying the most suitable one for you.

5. Remember; it is your employers responsibility to ensure you are comfortable when carrying out your duties at your desk. Regular DSE assessments and a good DSE policy will ensure your company are aware if you do need additional support and they must act on it. But it is also important that you don't sit and suffer in silence, speak to your manager about it if you are uncomfortable or you are experiencing pain. We are also here to offer advice regarding this if you feel you need it.

The chair pictured is a chair we typically see within home offices and far too often in offices too. Although sold as an office chair it is actually designed as a meeting room chair and should only be used as such. This style of chair will typically only have a one year warranty, which says all you need to know.

I very much hope that any adjustments you make to your workstation after reading these tips prove beneficial. If you feel you would like further advice or assistance in identifying the most suitable equipment for you, book in for your FREE Video Call Workstation Assessment ( You can also email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss or arrange this with me personally.