If you were to visit any random office in the country, there’s a strong likelihood that a significant portion of the employees would be sitting improperly, slouched over their desk space with their shoulders hunched and neck craning forward as they clacked away at their keyboards.
Such bad working habits are, in large part, caused by improper monitor height ergonomics. Put simply, their screen and desk setup is not optimally positioned to promote the healthiest sitting posture.
But what is the ideal monitor height? How should your computer, office chair, and desk be positioned?
Here’s how you can protect your health and work productivity with ergonomic desk accessories like a monitor.
Proper Monitor Height and Positioning
The height and position of a monitor will change how you sit and work in an inperson or hybrid office. It’s a central component of an ergonomic workstation.
Improperly positioned monitors can lead to poor posture. And, over time, such bad habits can result in a spate of health problems, including body pain, musculoskeletal disorders, carpal tunnel, and eyestrain, to name a few—all of which can negatively impact your productivity and ability to live a healthy, active lifestyle.1
To avoid this, consider the following aspects of monitor height ergonomics:
- Screen height – The optimal screen height will depend on the person due to variations in each person’s torso and neck length. That said, the monitor should be positioned so that the top of the screen is at, or just below, your eye level.
- Screen distance – Viewing distance impacts how easily you can read your screen. The trick is to find the sweet spot between too close and too far so that you can read the entire screen without moving your body. For that, the monitor should be placed approximately 20 to 24 inches—roughly an arm’s length—away from your eyes. Though, if you use a larger monitor, you may need to increase the monitor’s distance.
- Monitor position – Your monitor should be placed directly in front of you. Doing so ensures that you’re not twisting your head to see the screen. If you use two monitors, keep the primary screen in the same position with the secondary monitor staggered behind and slightly to the side.
- Glare – Glare can contribute to eyestrain and even cause you to take an awkward position to better view the screen. So, try to position your desk and monitor so that it is not near windows or bright lights.
- Monitor angles – Again, your height will factor into this equation. However, according to the CCOHS:2 “For comfortable viewing of images on a computer screen, it is probably reasonable to place the primary monitor at about 15 degrees (or slightly lower) below the horizontal line. Such a location creates a preferable visual zone of 30 degrees (+ 15 degrees to -15 degrees from the normal line of sight).”
If you want to make changes to your monitor positioning, you can purchase an adjustable monitor or laptop stand. Or, you can mount your screen to a monitor arm, which enables you to shift the screen at will to accommodate your ideal working state.
What Is the Best Height for a Desk and Chair?
How tall should a desk be? Your desk and chair setup will play a significant role in the optimal positioning for your primary monitor and impact how you sit (or stand) while you work.
For your chair...
- Find a chair that provides support for your spinal curves.
- Adjust the backrest to a 100°-110° reclined angle.
- Place your hips as far back as they can go.
- Adjust chair height so feet rest flat on the floor.
- Adjust armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed with elbows touching.
For your desk…
- You should be able to work with your knees and elbows at right angles.
- The keyboard and mouse should be level with your elbows.
- Adjustable table height should be between 22 to 33 inches.
- Adjustable table standing height should be 35 to 47 inches.
Tips for Better Ergonomic Health
Even with a proper modern office design and monitor setup, there are steps you can take to further protect your body from the rigors of sitting or standing all day. Best-practices include:
- Take plenty of breaks to stand, stretch, and walk around.
- Use an exercise ball or kneeling chair instead of a standard office chair.
- Avoid hunching by pretending that you have a string vertically connecting the crown of your head to the base of your spine.
- Don’t let your feet dangle or legs cross.
- For every 20 minutes spent staring at a screen, spend 20 seconds looking at an object 20 feet away.
- Frequently stretch your neck, wrists, and shoulders.
Create Your Ultimate Ergonomic Office Space with Juniper
Monitor height is an essential aspect of ergonomics, but it’s just one of many factors to consider. Learn what an ergonomic chair is and how to set up your desk ergonomically. As you plan out your office space, think of every piece of office equipment as an investment in your health, longevity, and productivity.
By setting your office up properly, you place yourself in the best position to succeed day after day.
Need help with that?
At Juniper Office, we have the products and experts you need to create the ultimate workspace. We provide free office space-planning services, helping you build a space that’s functional and looks fantastic.
- OSHA. Ergonomics. https://www.osha.gov/ergonomics
- CCOHS. Positioning the Monitor. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/monitor_positioning.html