Arranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

Ergonomics in the workplace is an issue that is far too often underestimated. Regardless of whether it is a large office or a home office, anyone who works sitting for hours must set up the workplace ergonomically in order to avoid health problems. In addition to the right office furniture, other factors also play a role. What should you pay particular attention to when setting up? What equipment should not be missing in the ergonomic workplace? And which set-up errors should be avoided? We answer these questions in the article!

How can I set up the workplace ergonomically?

The very first and most important step in setting up an office is choosing the right furniture. These should be ergonomic and offer a high level of comfort. Only then can the employees feel good and call up their full potential.

Choosing the right deskArranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

A computer workstation without a desk is unimaginable. Since long periods of sitting are unhealthy, a height-adjustable desk is recommended for ergonomic office equipment. The sit-stand table offers many advantages – on the one hand it improves the health of the back, on the other hand it increases concentration and performance. You can find out more about purchasing height-adjustable desks in the office at Office Furniture Expert.

Which office chair is the right one?Arranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

To protect your back, the office chair must be ergonomically adjustable. What does it mean exactly? The chair must offer various adjustment options in order to be able to adapt to the user. A flexible backrest and adjustable armrests ensure optimal seating comfort. To sit ergonomically, your thighs should be positioned horizontally, your knees should be at a 90-degree angle and your feet should be flat on the floor.

The concept of dynamic sitting is also enjoying great popularity. For this purpose, special active seating furniture such as knee chairs and active stools have been designed, which offer great freedom of movement and are increasingly preferred to classic office chairs.

Ergonomic desk accessoriesArranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

A height-adjustable desk and an adjustable chair are not enough for an ergonomic workplace. People who work 8 or more hours a day at a computer workstation often experience problems in the wrist area. Therefore, office accessories such as an ergonomic keyboard and comfortable wrist rests on the desk should not be missing. A simple trick also helps here: you put the keyboard on a folder with an inclined level so that it is slightly higher and inclined. This reduces the tension in the arms and improves writing comfort.

Tips for more ergonomics in the workplace

To ensure that the workplace is ergonomically designed, a few basic rules must be observed. We have summarized the most important of them below.

  • Sufficient work space – especially in shared offices, it is important to ensure at least 10 square meters of space per workstation.
  • Good lighting conditions – rooms with sufficient daylight and good ceiling lights that do not dazzle or cause reflections on the screen are ideal.
  • Room design in light colours – dark furniture and walls have an oppressive effect and should be avoided in the office. Instead, you have to use light, natural tones without too much shine or strong accents.
  • Large screen – a large monitor is preferable to a laptop when working on a PC. A screen of at least 22 ? is recommended. Studies have also shown that the multi-monitor workstation significantly increases productivity, so purchasing a second monitor can be advantageous in many cases.
  • Raise the monitor – If there is no height-adjustable table available at the workplace, you should at least be able to raise the monitor to a higher level. If you look down during the entire working day, neck discomfort is the result. The easiest way to regulate the height of the screen is to raise the monitor. If you work on two screens, they should ideally be positioned at different heights.
  • Good working atmosphere – there doesn’t have to be any annoying noise in the workplace. The heating in winter and ventilation in summer must work properly. Plants can also contribute to a pleasant atmosphere in the office space.

Common mistakes when setting up an office

If you want to set up your workplace ergonomically and comfortably, you should pay attention to many things. Here we’ve listed some of the most common office furnishing mistakes that you should definitely avoid.

The desk is too small or see-throughArranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

A large desk gives you freedom of movement and allows you to work with multiple monitors and documents. So you have to reckon with a minimum size of 160 cm x 80 cm for the desk. The table top does not have to be transparent under any circumstances. Glass desks cause light reflections that reduce concentration and tire the eyes more quickly.

The desk is incorrectly positionedArranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

There is not a single right place for the desk. However, positioning it directly in front of the window or on the wall is not ideal and can be problematic. It would be advisable to position the desk at right angles to the window.

Office chair is badly adjustedArranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

The presence of an ergonomic office chair cannot guarantee a good sitting position. The chair has to be adapted to the user and you have to ensure good posture yourself. The backrest should be adjusted so that the lumbar pad is at belt height. The angle between the upper body and thigh should be between 90 and 120 degrees so that the back is not stressed.

Placed too much emphasis on the opticsArranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

Design plays an important role in office design, but it is by no means the most important. First and foremost, the office furniture must be functional and ergonomic and only then look good.

Not enough storage spaceArranging the workplace ergonomically: basic rules, tips and common mistakes

When the workplace is cluttered, you feel cramped and stressed. Therefore, shelves, drawers and shelves should not be missing in the office. Everything that is often needed must be in the immediate vicinity. Less used documents and papers should be stowed in a separate place.


Good office design can significantly improve productivity in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture provides more comfort and prevents health problems. If the workplace is set up ergonomically and a pleasant working atmosphere is created there, concentration and performance are improved.