Ergonomics Program

Campus Address
120 USB
Mailing Address

120 University Services Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Keep ergonomics considerations in mind as you establish your at-home workspace. The right work surface, chair, computer positioning, etc., can enhance your comfort and productivity.

Computer Monitor

  • Set the top of your monitor at or slightly below eye level.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Look 20 feet away from your screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.

Keyboard and Mouse

  • Try to keep your arms close to your body, with elbows near your sides.
  • If able, use an external keyboard and mouse.


  • Choose a chair with back support and sit so your back is supported, reclining slightly if possible.
  • Try to keep your knees at 90 degrees, with feet flat on the floor.
  • It is okay to occasionally sit on other surfaces, but do not sit on a stool, couch, or exercise ball for prolonged periods of time.

Work Surface

  • Use a hard flat surface such as a table or desk.
  • Remove clutter and any drawers directly in front of your seat.

Noise and Light

  • Noise can be managed with noise-canceling headphones or by listening to unfamiliar sounds or music in the background.
  • Lighting should be bright overhead. Position your screen away from other light sources to limit glare.

Getting Comfortable

If your workspace doesn't feel quite right, try these steps:

  • Place an additional chair cushion on your seat for extra comfort or height.
  • Use a box as a footrest to support your feet and legs.
  • Use speakerphone or headphones with a microphone to take calls instead of holding the phone.
  • Raise your monitor with an adjustable stand, laptop stand, or stack of books.
  • If your monitor is too small, increase the zoom settings.
  • If you only have a laptop, tilt the screen backwards to create more distance and use keyboard shortcuts to reduce trackpad use.
  • Stand up and move more often if your home setup isn’t ideal.

Reversal of posture exercises also can improve your comfort and prevent injury.