How to set your desk up at home

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Soon we’ll have been working from home for a good three weeks, and while operating from the sofa can feel like a bit of a novelty at first, your back and neck won’t forgive you in the long run.[\lead]

Here are five easy tips to make sure your at-home setup isn’t making things worse.A laptop is open at a kitchen table.

1. Don’t hunch

Even at a desk it can be tricky not to curve over your laptop. Try and find things to prop up your laptop, like large books or ring binders. If you don’t have a table to work from, place a cushion on your lap instead, or think about standing up with your laptop on a shelf (or even your ironing board). Here’s a check sheet for setting yourself up at home.

A laptop sits open on a pile of large books.

2. Comfort is key

If you don’t have a proper office chair, a kitchen chair is the next best thing. Make sure it has a back, and use cushions or a rolled up towel on the bottom and back to make it more comfortable. If you have to work from the sofa, use a cushion to support your lower back and try not to slide down as this increases the bend in your neck. This list will help.

A person is sat on the sofa, with their laptop propped on a cushion on their lap.

3. Find a routine

If you don’t have a desk or table to work from, try and move around as many chairs as you can so your body doesn’t get stiff from sitting at one angle for too long. Try and think about which part of your work you can do in each area and draw up a daily schedule accordingly.


4. Take regular breaks

It’s important to stretch your body out and get away from your screen. Listen to your stiffness and aches and pains and focus on getting them moving the most. Take at least two or three mini breaks an hour and at least five minutes every hour. It doesn’t need to take long and there are plenty of movements you can do from your chair. Here are some exercises to try.


5. Get moving

As well as getting away from your screen, find ways to keep you moving at your desk. Do a few leg exercises if you’re sat on a call (or walk around the house), put your drink just out of your reach and stick little reminders around your workspace reminding you to sit up, stretch and fidget. Here are some deskercise movements to get you going.

A postit note on the side of a laptop reads 'Remember to move!'

Remember the Health and Safety team are regularly adding information to the Staff FAQ website.

Photography: Sam Sills

What does your at-home desk setup look like? Let us know at