How to Make Working From Home Painless

working from home Before I started this blog, I rarely spent more than a couple of hours at a time sitting at my desk. As much I enjoy working on, after several hours at a stretch, I have to admit that sometimes it’s a pain in the neck…literally. I’ve made a few changes in my office to give my back, neck, wrists and even my eyes a break.

If you’re feeling the wear and tear of sitting in front of a computer all day, there are a few simple changes you can make.

Use an adjustable office chair

If you’re reading this blog post while sitting in a chair from your dining room or kitchen set, considering making a chair change today. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a chair that adjusts to the right height and reduces the strain on your body. Make sure that whatever chair you buy has a few options including:

1) Lumbar support to reduce the strain on your lower back

2) A waterfall seat where the front edge of the seat is rounded to help you prevent any problems with circulation and to reduce the compression of nerves behind your knees

3) Seat height and back height adjustments

4) Tilt mechanisms and tilt lock to reduce strain and fatigue of your leg muscles

5) Tension control that adjusts to your body weight for easier reclining. (Steelcase chairs are reasonably priced and usually fit the decor of any home office.)

Avoid back strain

Keep frequently-used equipment and supplies within reach to avoid straining your back. Rather than play a game of Twister to grab what you need, store items logically and within reach. You can add shelves above or near your desk, or a desktop holder to keep supplies nearby.

Choose the right lighting

A good way to reduce eyestrain and fatigue is to use one or several types of lighting. Your options include ambient or general lighting, natural lighting, and task lighting. The type of lighting you use depends on the tasks you’ll be doing. Use one or a combination of these types of lighting to give you the right amount of light for your home office.

Find the right tools

You’ll reduce the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by using an ergonomic wrist rest, mouse, and adjustable and articulating keyboard. Wrist and mouse rests — Fellowes is one of my favorite brands — are made from foam-like and gel materials, and are available in interesting colors and patterns. If your monitor is too low, use a monitor riser to bring it to a more comfortable level.  The first clue that your monitor or laptop are at the wrong height is when you feel a constant pain in your neck.

Along with making ergonomic changes to your home office, take breaks throughout the day to give your wrist (and your entire body) a break from being in the same position for a long period of time. After all, working from home is supposed to be pleasurable, not painful.

What do you do to make working from home more comfortable?


  1. I found the best technique is the sand timer. When it runs out, it’s time for a walk….
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted..Infinite storage capacity?My Profile

  2. Those are all great tips and very important to follow.
    Crystal Green recently posted..Cheating on DietMy Profile

  3. I have had every kind of injury just sitting at my desk from strained eyes to neck and back pain. I even sprained my ankle once in the office. Each person has an office chair that is right for them. I recently gave one away that was meant for a giant and caused me a lot of lower back pain. It is amazing how these simple things can really make a big difference in how you feel.
    Kristen recently posted..Expressing Gratitude: I Am Thankful for Clean AirMy Profile

  4. Lisa,

    When I saw the title of the post I had a totally different mindset. i thought “How to make working from home painless” was going to be about the struggles most marketers have trying to work their business from home.

    I was pleasantly surprised to read something totally different. i liked how you talked about having the right tools and lighting. From chairs to shelves it’s good to have the right equipment. The only think I would add is taking quick breaks often for your back and for your eyes.

    Ken Pickard
    The Network Dad
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  5. Ken, you have to make pretty much everything easy to reach and ergonomic. These are great ideas. I love your website domain. Ha Ha Ha
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  6. oops sorry Lisa, i saw Ken’s comment and I typed his name but I Love your domain,
    Michael Belk recently posted..Why are you still talking? Start listening.My Profile

  7. People don’t realize that some fairly simple devices could make a real difference in their health and comfort. Thank you for sharing this information, Lisa.
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  8. Some people have replaced chairs with fit balls. It forces them to keep good posture and actually keeps the muscles moving during the day, even if in a very minor fashion.
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  9. Lisa, another tip I learned is that you should be eye level to the top of your monitor. I have a defective chair that at least allows my feet to rest on the floor, but my monitor, my desk and myself are all at odds. I am a short 5′ 2″ and when I have the chair high enough, I have to have a foot rest. Meanwhile my hands are way below the keyboard and desk because of the chair. I know, complaints, complaints. I am blessed to be able to work from home in my nightgown (naked is not my style). The rest will get straightened out eventually.–Annie
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  10. Great information and comments here. One thing I have noticed lately is the shoulder hunch which seem to affect the eyes as well as the neck. One thing I have learned – listen to my body when it says it hurts.
    Roberta Budvietas recently posted..Half Full Half Empty…So what!My Profile

  11. Reminds me…time to invest in a desk with better design to facilitate some of these great tips.
    Tambre Leighn recently posted..Conviction as a Challenge CureMy Profile

  12. I agree Lisa. It is really important to have the right working environment, even at home. I wear contact lenses and some times I will take them out to work on my computer. I noticed it takes away a lot of strain and headaches. I always will take breaks every hour and half as well.

    These are really good tips and advice, thanks for sharing!
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  13. Good tips, taking breaks and stretching out those tight muscles is one of the best ways I find to stay healthy while working at a desk. The tip to avoid the painful twisting when trying to grab something that is in an awkward spot is a really good one. Often I forget it’s better to stand up and get something than it is to reach too far or in a strange way.
    Bonnie recently posted..When no one and everyone is looking; Character mattersMy Profile

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