Sitting comfortably? 
Pain-free tips on how to work from home

Published on 19/5/2020 by The Simplyhealth Team
Clinically reviewed on 19/10/2022 by The Simplyhealth Team

Many of us are still working from home part-time if not full-time. The events of the past few years have made businesses rethink where their employees work most productively. 

And although you may have invested in your home working space, with a desk and ergonomic chair rather than hunched over the dining table, now may be a good time to reassess your workspace to ensure you’re still keeping to healthy ways of home working.

Woman working at desk at home

Create comfortable home-working conditions

Take some time to review your working from home surroundings. Where possible, avoid working in your bedroom. You want to be doing your best to keep your working and resting areas separate. Allocate an area of your home as your dedicated working space and spend some time getting your set-up sorted, ensuring that you have everything in place for that comfortable work environment. Consider things like:

  • Taking time to adjust your equipment settings. For example, ensuring your screen brightness is set to a comfortable level for your eyes
  • Ensuring you have the tools of the trade. Is your stationery easily accessible, paper on hand etc? 
  • Monitoring your working conditions, for example, adjusting your room temperature to ensure that you're not feeling too hot or too cold
  • Are you able to position your feet flat on the floor, if not you may need a foot rest?
  • Sitting in a comfortable and supportive chair, which provides support for your lower back. That's a big one. The sofa can be bad for posture
Man working from home and smiling at laptop

Check your posture

Your working environment is set up and ready to go, what's next?

It's important to pay close attention to your working position. While sitting at your desk, monitor your body positioning throughout the day and make a conscious effort to correct any poor posture and sitting habits. Slouching isn't good, and you'll want to reduce the risk of developing pain or discomfort.

Look out for, and correct, these examples of bad posture:

  • Sitting in a poorly adjusted chair 
  • Slouching in your chair
  • Sitting rotated at your computer
  • Leaning forward or hunching over your keyboard 
  • Looking down at your mobile phone
  • Angling your head up, if your screen is too high
  • Using your shoulder and your ear to support a phone, to free up your hands – if you frequently use a phone for work, try using a headset instead. Using a wireless headset can also give you more ability to get up and move around during phone calls 


Tip: Frequent stretching can help improve your posture and loosen stiff muscles. Try some exercises to strengthen your back and chest, like planks, bridges and chest stretches. Our friends at Nuffield Health have been chatting with their personal trainers, creating fitness plans for those at home.

Stretching tips from a pro

England Rugby's Dylan Hartley knows quite a bit about exercises that improve muscle comfort. Watch the 1-minute video below and discover the little routine he uses to prepare his body each day.

Woman at gym listening to music

Keep active

If you're used to working in an office environment, you may find that while working from home, you're walking shorter distances and having fewer reasons to get up and move around. This is because you're attending conference calls instead of walking to meeting rooms and you're probably set up a lot closer to the kitchen and toilet.

Structuring your routine can help you stay active while working from home. Identify the opportunities where you can introduce exercise in your day. Get regular breaks from sitting at your workspace to stretch and move around, and look to build these into your working day. Some of our suggestions would be:

  • Starting your day with an exercise routine before you begin working, such as doing some muscle-strengthening activities
  • Getting up from your workspace every 30 minutes to stretch and move around. For example, taking a short walk each time you make a refreshment, or walking around during phone calls
  • Venturing outside during your lunch break. Fresh air is great; you could go for a walk or do some gardening if possible

We've got you covered if you're looking for tips on how to stay healthy and keep active at home.

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