Working at home in a healthy and sustainable way

Not everyone has a well-arranged office workplace at home. For example, most likely you
are reading these tips on your laptop at the kitchen table or on the couch. That works
well for a while, but this could cause neck and shoulder problems. Use our tips to stay
healthy when working from home.

Tips for working at home

  • Do you have a home office workplace? Then use it as you are used to in the office.
  • It is tiresome to work in daylight. Preferably, sit at a spot with the window behind or besides you.
  • Do you have an office chair at a dining table?
    • Then adjust the armrests of the chair for good, relaxed support of the arms.
    • Then place the chair seat higher so that the armrests are at the same height as the tabletop.
    • Place something under the feet so that the upper legs are supported horizontally on the chair.
  • If you don't have an office chair, try to find another way of raising your chair. The aim is to have your formarms on the table without pulling up your shoulders.
  • Place the keyboard a bit further away from you so that the table provides good support for your arms. Sit up straight and avoid leaning forward.
  • If possible, use a separate keyboard and monitor. The top edge of the monitor must be slightly under your eye level. Or place the laptop on a raised surface (for example, a pile of books).
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If you don’t have a separate keyboard, pay special attention to relaxing your shoulders and neck muscles and to moving about frequently.

Moving every 30 minutes

Alternate sitting with moving every 30 minutes: walk around (for example while you are phoning) or do some pull and stretch exercises (see below). Think about using pause software, such as Workrave.

Sit on the couch

Regularly spend half an hour sitting on the couch or armchair with your laptop on your lap. If necessary, put a pillow under the elbows as support.

Use headphones

If you have to make many phone calls, it is more pleasant to have your hands free.
Use earphones/headphones or speakerphone

Normal working days

For people working from home, it is more than just maintaining an ergonomic work posture. Treat the days as normal working days. Therefore, shower and get dressed, set limits for family members and try to follow your normal workday as much as possible. The latter means that you also take breaks and preferably, set a time when it is the end of the working day.

Pull and stretch exercises


Arms and wrists

Always start with a warm up of your wrist. Interlock your fingers and twist your wrists round and round. Do this for approximately 1 minute.

Neck, back and shoulders

Pull your shoulders up and then let them sink down. Exhale when relaxing.

Neck, back and shoulders

Sit up straight and pull your shoulder blades backwards and downwards.


Neck, back and shoulders

Place your arms over each other and stretch your elbows forward, rounding your back.

Arms and wrists

Place your forearm with your hand flat on the table. Make a fist and raise your hand without moving your forearm. Afterwards place your hand flat again on the table.

Neck, back and shoulders

Sit up straight and turn your head as far as possible past your shoulder. Now do the same exercise in
the other direction.