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Thought Leadership

#DifferenceMaker Series: Healthy Workstations

In our industry, no matter what our specific role, we all have the same goal of creating a healthy and happy workplace for employees.

According to the American Time Use Survey, American’s spend 8.7 hours at work on an average work day. With all this time spent at our workplaces, it’s important to do our due diligence as we make healthy choices. Our friends at Humanscale create great content that centers around 'Healthy Workstation Guidelines', so we sat down with our Humanscale rep, Jessica Bohac to inquire about some common trends, misconceptions, as well as some advice that we can use as recommendations to our readers when considering their set up in their respective workplaces. Read below for the latest and greatest info and trends so that you can do your best work, either at home or in the office.


Computer monitors should be pushed way back and the keyboards should come really close. Our bodies are naturally reaching forward because we are reaching for our tools. Our tools have become too far away from us and cause strain on our bodies. Bring them closer! Humanscale’s general recommendation is that your tools should be a arms’ width or 14-20 inches away from the monitor.

There is no doubt that the trend for monitors are that they are getting larger and larger. Also, people are moving from 2 monitors to 1 curved. Although more expensive, they are truly better ergonomically. The curve minimizes the viewing pain so you are minimizing the neck movement.

Others who are focused on fitness tend to lean into utilizing exercise balls because they think this is a healthy way to work during the day. Contrary to what most would think, this sitting option provides little to no support on the back and can cause more harm than good.


Keyboard position – How should the keyboard be positioned?

The tabs should be put down on the keyboard. This allows you to type in either a neutral or negative tilt, versus a positive tilt (a common misconception). Putting the tabs up on the back of your keyboard are not good for your wrists as they create more wrist extension and increases risk for carpal tunnel. The actual reason that these tabs are in place are for those who type with two fingers, most commonly referred to 'hunt and peckers'.

Mouse – What should be avoided with your wrist?

Always keep your mouse close. Otherwise you are twisting your shoulder, which is bad for your posture.

Aligning – How should the monitor be positioned?

When people have the ability to adjust their screen height, we have seen time and time again that they typically put them up way to high. Many people are looking up. However, the general recommendation is to put the top of the computer monitor at eye level. It is very easy to look down and it is harder and more straining on your neck, head and body to look up.

Illumination – Why is it important to have lighting in your area?

You can’t control natural light, but studies show that 80% of people have more control over their environment when they allow light in. It is proven that people in their 20s naturally see something differently than people in their 70s. Monitors are omitting light so you don’t want the focus to be on the monitor, as some might think. Use the light to focus on your documents that might be in your workspace, over focusing the light on the actual monitor.

Sitting Position – What’s the best/healthiest way to sit?

The best sitting position is a slight recline because it’s the least amount of pressure for your back and shoulders.


It is proven that people have more energy when they sit and stand throughout the day. If you are just sitting, your metabolism stays stagnant and energy loss is inevitable. The general rule of thumb is to stand for 15 minutes per hour.

When considering a sit-to-stand desk, know that this option is truly for people who are stuck at their desk all day. If you are already on the move, it’s not going to be a huge benefit. Really, we need to consider the employee and how active their day is, so we would recommend evaluating on a case-by-case basis.

We have learned over time that certain demographics are going to be a little more set in their ways and not want to accept something new, such as a sit-to-stand desk.

On the other hand, specific companies can use furniture like sit-to-stand desks as a recruitment tool. One example that we have seen are tech start-ups who are eager to recruit the millennial workforce.


To help ease the transition for newly remote workers, Humanscale has curated a Work From Home Guide and is offering a 20% discount on its home office solutions. Click here to learn more.

Photos provided by © Humanscale Corporation, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express written permission from Humanscale Corporation is strictly prohibited.