office ergonomics

Office Ergonomics & Stretches to Prevent Back Pain | Elastoplast – Back, neck or shoulder pain is common if you spend a lot of time at a desk but can be avoided if you’re proactive about your health & fitness. Read our tips!

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Office ergonomics: Details Can Make all the Difference


Those who work in offices will experience back pain or neck and shoulder pain at some point in time. Usually the pain is not due to anything serious and settles within a matter of days or weeks.

What many people don’t know: your work environment, including the position of your computer, the height of your desk or the ergonomic shape of your chair can directly influence how the body reacts. Ergonomics at home is equally as important as being in the office to prevent pain. It is always a good idea to make your working environment as supportive for you as possible.

When at home, try to find a chair that supports your spine. Meaning the height of the chair allows your feet to be flat on the floor and knees in line with your hips.  Your desk or table should be at the right height: tall enough to have room for your legs underneath the table, with your arms resting comfortably on the tabletop or desk to avoid feeling cramped. 

It is important to use a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The monitor should be at eye level or slightly below and kept at an arm’s length away. This is all important to avoid hunching over a small laptop screen that may result in pain. Whilst it may be tempting to work on the lounge or somewhere comfy, avoid doing so for long periods of time. This is because working with poor posture could lead to back or neck pain. Also, when working from home its best to stay in contact with colleagues by using either a headset or headphones. This will ensure your keeping good posture and your hands free to prevent shoulder pain and the possibility of straining your neck.

Ergonomic back pain can be caused from a variety of psychological stress factors. Factors such as stress or loading yourself with too much work can greatly contribute to tenseness. If you do experience strains and pains, it is important to take note of when they flair up.

By having the right set up for your home office by utilising suitable desk ergonomics, whether it be temporary or permanent, you can help can prevent neck, back, or shoulder pain associated with poor posture or an unsuitable work space. You may find in times of stress and discomfort pain flare ups may increase therefore it is important to engage in activities that excite you to decrease the likelihood of pain occurring.

Avoiding Back Pain and Neck/Shoulder Tension with Office Ergonomics – Causes


There are many ways that sitting incorrectly in an office environment can cause back pain. This includes posture and sitting positions, screen distance and positioning as well as keyboard height. Sitting in stagnant positions for long periods of time can cause issues which include strains to spinal ligaments, discs, and surrounding structures of the spine. There are several ergonomic safety tips to prevent these issues from affecting you.

Try to sit as ACTIVELY as possible. Change your sitting position as often as possible. Stand up from time to time and stretch. If in an office environment, use every chance you can to move around. For example, take the stairs instead of using the lift or make use of lunch breaks for a brisk walk.

It is important to treat yourself to physical exercise to balance out any stationary work. Try to work out at least three times a week. Running, going to the gym, or doing some yoga are all examples of potential physical activity you can engage in which will not only strengthen your muscles, but also free your head of stress. 


What if Back Pain Strikes? What to do if Pain Strikes


There is a variety of do’s and don’ts that are designed to help you deal with back pain to help you get on with living your day to day life uninterrupted. Incorporating proper office ergonomics as well as frequent desk stretches, and office stretches will also become part of your daily routine and promote suitable desk posture creating long term benefits.

The following is important to follow which can be utilised to help you deal with the pain.

  • Stay as active as possible and ensure proper sitting posture at your desk both in the office and at home. By doing so you are utilising various ergonomic tips. See your doctor if you are worried about the pain or if the pain persists or worsens.
  • Speak to your doctor to see if you can keep working and, if necessary, discuss with your employer things that can be done to make it easier for you to remain at work.
  • If necessary, modify the kind of activity that causes the pain.
  • Become informed and listen to your body. If necessary, speak to a doctor, physiotherapist, or a chiropractor.


  • Don’t stay in bed and wait for the pain to go away. Evidence shows that this does not help recovery. The sooner you become mobile the better it will be for your recovery.
  • Don’t worry. Back pain is rarely serious and worrying too much about it will only delay your recovery.
  • Don’t avoid activity simply as a way of avoiding the pain.

Stop and Stretch: Stretches to Avoid Back Pain

It is extremely important to get up and remain active throughout the day. When working from home it can be hard to break the habit of remaining at your desk for hours without taking a break. Suitable office ergonomics and regular desk stretches at home can help prevent back pain. Setting reminders every hour to get up and move is important, even if it can only be for a minute or two.

Trying out the above stretches will help to keep your body moving!

Products of Choice: Products that Aid Back Pain


If back or neck pain does strike, it is always important to be prepared. The following products are important to aid in the in the temporary relief of back or neck pain. Heat therapy can be a great method of temporary relief.

Heat patches for back pain enhances the flexibility of movement and can be used for the lower back, hip pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. Hot patches promote an increase in blood flow therefore helping to relax any painful muscles.

To provide extra support to the area, try Elastoplast Adjustable Back Stabiliser. This helps to prevent injury or reinjury by compressing and stabilising the lower back. It can be suitable for relieving pain from dysfunctions such as sciatica, herniated discs, spinal stenosis and scoliosis, spondylolisthesis and more.


How to set up your office ergonomics.

You can set up your office ergonomically:

  • By ensuring your computer monitor is at least an arm’s length away and the top of the monitor is aligned with your sitting eye level.
  • Adjusting your seat height to maintain knee levels with your hips.
  • Keep your wrists straight at elbow level with the mouse and Keyboard within reach.

What are the effects of poor office ergonomics?

Poor office ergonomics can cause muscles and muscle groups that are not physically challenged to become shortened or weaker while others may become tense or cramped leading to bodily aches and pains. If symptoms persist, contact your health care professional.

What is office ergonomics?

Office ergonomics utilises the design of a worker’s workstation or space to lessen body strains and aches to improve personal health and wellbeing.

Why is ergonomics important in the office?

Ergonomics in the office helps to boost productivity. Utilising office ergonomics also helps to improve employee engagement which provides more fulfilment and efficiency in the office.