Let’s talk about monitors.
Many people have at least one – if not multiple – connected to their laptop or desktop computer. Pictured above is my dual monitor set up above that is connected to a laptop.
Monitors are great if they’re set up correctly. If not, you can experience neck pain, eyestrain, and overall general physical discomfort that negatively impacts productivity and enjoyment.
Unfortunately, poorly placed monitors are one of the most frequent issues I’ve observed with workstations. Fortunately, making the necessary changes requires little to no money.
Below are some considerations to make when setting up your monitors.
Position: The monitor should be placed directly in front of you. Don’t have it off to the side where you have to twist your neck to view.
Height: The top of the monitor should be at or slightly below eye level. Too high or low puts unnecessary stress on your spine.
Distance: The distance between the front of the monitor and your face should be between 18 and 28 inches. When CRT monitors were popular, it was common to see a monitor placed too close to the body due to insufficient workstation depth. With the proliferation of flat screens, this typically isn’t an issue now. Personally, I have mine on the farther end because it provides additional desktop space to push the keyboard out of the way and write.
Tilt: The top of the monitor should be tilted approximately 20 degrees from vertical (away from your body).
Glare: Poorly placed lights and windows can create glare on the monitor making it difficult to see, which in turn can result in eyestrain. Monitors should be placed 90 degrees to windows to minimize glare. I’ll admit that I break this rule (shaded windows are in front of my monitors), but I self-monitor for signs of eyestrain and haven’t observed any issues.
Multiple Monitors: The price point for monitors has dropped significantly in the last 5 years. Thus, it’s not uncommon to see people with two or more large monitors. I’m old enough to remember when it was a big deal to have two 20-inch monitors. Now those are considered quite small. Make one of the monitors your primary display. Typically, this will be the largest screen with the best resolution. The other monitor to should be placed as close to the primary monitor and used sparingly.
I’ll leave laptop monitors, and laptops in general, for another post. Stay tuned!