Given the number of hours in a work week spent sitting, including commuting time, it’s not surprising that many office workers suffer from at least one musculoskeletal (MSK) condition. Common workplace injuries include tendonitis/osis, carpal tunnel syndrome, back and neck pain, as well as neck/shoulder stiffness and circulatory problems. Pain and discomfort can be caused by maintaining a poor or static posture, repetitive movements, awkward work positions, and even excessive bending and twisting. Luckily, by paying attention to workplace ergonomics, you may be able to decrease the risk of developing many of these conditions or minimize the pain and discomfort. Check out the tips below to see how you can improve your office ergonomics and ultimately your health.

1. Adjust your chair

Sitting too high or too low relative to your desk or computer screen can fatigue and even strain the muscles of the neck, shoulders, back and even legs. An improperly positioned backrest may cause slouching or shrugging, and increase stress on the shoulders and back.

Sit in your chair so that your shoulders and lower back are resting comfortably against the back rest. The back rest should be adjusted to an angle of 90-110 degrees to provide adequate support.1,2,3 You may need to use a lumbar support pillow or rolled up towel to provide extra support to your lower back. The height and angle of the seat should allow for your thighs to be parallel to the floor with your knees in line with or slightly lower than your hips.

Once you have adjusted your chair, check your feet. If they are not flat on the floor, use a foot rest to decrease pressure on the back of your thighs. The arm rests support your forearms and elbows, and it’s important that they are the correct height for your body.

2. Adjust your computer monitor

The height and viewing distance of your computer monitor are important considerations that could help reduce eye strain, as well as muscle tension/stiffness in your neck, shoulders and upper back. The top line of text on the screen (not the top of the monitor) should be at eye level. This helps to keep your neck in a neutral position while you work. If your monitor is not adjustable, stack stable books or other materials underneath the monitor’s base to raise it up. If the monitor is too high to begin with, raise your chair and use a foot rest to maintain proper posture. If you raise your arm to shoulder height and stretch it out in front of you, your fingertips should just reach the screen.

3. Check the position of your keyboard and mouse

The keyboard height should allow you to rest your arms (rather than reaching) with your elbows at your sides and your forearms parallel to the floor. Keep your wrists neutral and consider using a soft wrist support.

Position your mouse at the same height as the keyboard and as close to the keyboard as possible to avoid reaching. Keep your wrist straight and use your full arm to move the mouse from your shoulder. Don’t grip it too tightly and take your hand off the mouse when you aren’t using it.

4. Maintain proper posture

If you’ve incorporated the above tips into your workspace setup, you should also pay attention to your posture. Most importantly, make sure you sit comfortably with a neutral spine and take “movement breaks” at least every 50 minutes or so. As a reminder, you can set an alarm or directly schedule breaks in your calendar. Straighten Up Canada, the free app from Canada’s chiropractors provides quick, easy-to-perform exercises and allows you to set reminders so you never forget to straighten up.


Floating Review Template1
Royal York Chiropractic and Massage Therapy (416) 233-5413
4.9 6
Dundas Street West Toronto Ontario M8X 1Y3
  • I started going to Dr. Marco back in January 2020 when I was suffering a lower back injury. After seeing the reviews on google, I decided to give him a chance and I haven't looked back. Dr. Marco has helped me in my recovery and brought me back to feeling healthier than ever. He is extremely knowledgeable, kind and easy to talk too. Not to mention, the prices are very reasonable and not overpriced. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a chiropractor in Etobicoke.
  • Royal York Chiropractic was recommended to me by multiple people, so I decided to give it a go for my back and shoulder problems. My first experience with Dr. Marco was extremely positive. He is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. His honesty and commitment to improving my pain is what kept me coming back. Very positive experience!
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for many years now and he helps me each time I see him. He’s friendly, knowledgeable and has a level of clinical awareness that comes from years of experience which helps to create an overall positive interaction. Making appointments is never an issue and the clinic environment is welcoming and relaxing. Highly recommend him!
  • I have had very positive experiences with Royal York Chiropractic. While Dr. Peter has predominantly been overseeing my care, I have had adjustments with Dr. Marco as well. Both are competent, caring, friendly and willing to answer questions. Anna keeps the office well-organized and the few times I've had to wait, it has never been for long.
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for a few years now and he helps me every time. His adjustments are precise and effective, he knows what he is doing. He can be aggressive or as gentle as you need. Appointments have never been an issue, he always works around my schedule. I would highly recommend him!