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Ergonomic Tips for a Pain-Free Workspace and Car

Published Date: 
March 19, 2024
A group of people working in their workplace.

Ditch the aches and pains! Discover expert-backed ergonomic tips to prevent future injuries and boost productivity with this essential guide.

From Desk to Drive: Essential Ergonomic Tips to Keep You Comfortable and Injury-Free

As surprising as it might seem, it's possible to develop musculoskeletal injuries even if you sit at a desk all day. People who spend hours a day sitting at a desk or in a vehicle suffer an increased risk for certain types of injuries. These injuries tend to occur gradually over time, as the body is damaged by being in an unnatural position for several hours.

The best thing you can do is increase how often you move. If your job requires extended periods of sitting, do your best to stand throughout the day. This might include taking breaks for short walks or using a standing desk. If neither of these options is possible or you want to reduce your risk of injury further while sitting, consider implementing ergonomics. Ergonomics prevent discomfort and reduce your risk of long-term health issues and sitting-related musculoskeletal issues.

Workplace Ergonomics

Several workspace ergonomic fixes can help you feel better throughout your workday, even if you must sit for hours at a time. 

Chair Essentials

If you sit at a desk all day, investing in the right chair is essential. Choosing an ergonomic chair and keeping it at the right height reduces your risk of injury. The best chairs offer lumbar support and promote a good sitting posture. Sitting with good posture should not mean discomfort. The right chair makes it easy to sit in a position that promotes good health.

Monitor Setup

One of the most essential factors in ergonomics is the position of your computer monitor. There are several things to consider when setting up your monitor. For example:

Viewing Distance

The ideal viewing distance is typically considered to be around arm's length, approximately 20 to 40 inches (50 to 100 centimeters) from your eyes to the screen. Adjust the distance based on your comfort and visual acuity. If you have difficulty reading text, you may need to move closer.

Avoid placing the monitor too close, as it can cause eye strain, and too far away, leading to leaning forward and neck strain.

Screen Height

Position the top of the monitor at or slightly below eye level. This prevents you from tilting your head too far up or down, reducing neck strain.


  • Position the monitor perpendicular to windows and other light sources to minimize glare.
  • Use curtains, blinds, or adjustable shades to control natural light entering the room.
  • Consider investing in an anti-glare screen or applying a matte screen filter to reduce reflections.

Keyboard and Mouse Placement

The position of your monitor isn't your only computer-related concern when it comes to ergonomics. You'll also want to ensure your keyboard and mouse are in the correct position. Make sure you can maintain a neutral wrist position and not be forced to reach too much when using your mouse or your keyboard. Keyboard and mouse placement are primary factors in reducing your risk of developing carpal tunnel issues. 


Ensuring your position while sitting is optimal is only part of reducing your risk of ergonomic injuries. You'll also want to take plenty of breaks. Get up and move. Take time throughout the day to stretch and move around. Staying in a prolonged static position isn't natural for your body, so the more often you move, the better.

Additional Tips

In addition to computer placement and breaks, you'll also want to:

  • Install proper lighting in your workspace to avoid eyestrain
  • Organize your workspace
  • Use ergonomic accessories such as keyboard trays or footrests to support healthy working positioning

Chair Ergonomics

Your chair is your most important tool for enhancing ergonomics. Although you might be tempted to grab whatever chair is available (and maybe the cheapest), this is a big mistake. Investing in a quality, ergonomically correct chair will save you money, time, and pain in the long run.

What should you consider when choosing a chair?

  • Seat adjustment: Make sure you choose a chair you can adjust to your specific body. The best, most expensive chair won't do you much good if it's too high or too low. The correct position of your chair gives you proper back support and legroom while sitting at your desk.
  • Lumbar enhancement: You can further modify your sitting position by investing in ergonomic devices like lumbar support cushions. These cushions help you align your spine, preventing various workplace ergonomic injuries that pose a risk due to excessive sitting. 


Consider several things when driving if you're concerned about ergonomics. For example:

Steering wheel positioning: Maintaining a comfortable reach and avoiding slouching is essential when driving. Before you begin driving, adjust your seat, seatback, and steering wheel position for optimal comfort and alignment.

Mirrors and visibility: You'll also want to adjust your mirrors before driving. Adjust for optimal viewing angles and minimize blind spots. In addition to reducing unnatural movement while driving, this also increases road safety.

Take breaks: If you're driving a long distance, make sure you take plenty of breaks. Get out of your vehicle, breathe in fresh air, and stretch out your body. This prevents stiffness and supports healthy circulation.

Overall Benefits of Good Ergonomics

Ergonomics might seem like an afterthought when it comes to your workday, but it shouldn't be. It's one of the best tools you have for preventing injuries.

Good ergonomics reduce your risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries, including:                 

Ergonomics is also essential to your job performance. When you're comfortable and healthy, you enjoy improved focus and productivity. You'll increase your energy and overall well-being and get more work done.

Customizing your workspace is one of the best ways to maximize your workday. This applies to those who sit at desks all day or who drive for a living. And even if your time in your vehicle is only to get to and from work, proper ergonomics reduces your risk of injury and makes you a safer driver.

If you have questions about proper ergonomics or need help with poor posture, consult a healthcare professional or ergonomist for personalized guidance. 

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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