A large number of office-going Americans spend more than 7 hours a day staring at a computer screen. Due to the awful number of hours spent seated, it is vital to make sure that you are in the right posture. While sitting for extended periods is bad for our health, poor sitting posture worsens the situation. Poor posture can cause undue strain on your body parts, and over extended periods could lead to more severe life-altering injuries.
When it comes to implementing the right ergonomics for the workplace, most individuals first think of getting the right ergonomic chair and adjustable desk and even a footrest. Not many individuals consider the position of their computer monitor.
Does the Position of My Computer Monitor Matter?
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When it comes to optimizing your work area, it is essential to make considerations about the position of your monitor. Health professionals recommend setting your computer approximately 18 to 28 inches away from your face, making sure that the top of the screen is sitting at eye level.
This will not only help reduce the strain on your eyes but also help keep your neck in proper alignment as you work. Remember, poorly positioning your computer monitor will introduce uncomfortable and awkward postures that could lead to conditions such as musculoskeletal disorder.
What Considerations Should I Make Positioning My Computer Monitor?
The position and height of your computer monitor can change how individuals hold their heads and how hard they have to work their eyes. In case you are one of those people who use their computer all day, pay attention to the following considerations and reduce the risk of long-term injury.
You Monitor Needs to Be Positioned to Eliminate Screen Glare
Wrongly positioning your monitor will reflect glare on your eyes, forcing you to strain as you work. While this could affect your eyes in the long-term, it will also force you to assume an awkward position to read your screen correctly.
Positioning your computer monitor right in front of you helps avoid twisting your neck and head while viewing the screen. While it is essential to have the screen right in front of you, it is also important to note the angle. Positioning your computer monitor at the wrong angle for an extended period will lead to neck pain and even damage.
The computer monitor needs to be positioned anywhere between the eye level and 30 degrees below the line of sight. This position is most suitable since your eyes tend to trend straight ahead and downward when at rest.
The monitor needs to be at least an arm’s length away from the user
The computer monitor must be a comfortable distance away from the user, making it possible to view the entire screen without twisting of the neck or head. The viewing distance is vital; having the screen too far away will make it impossible to read while placing it too close will lead to strain. The key here is to find a sweet spot.
The screen height varies from one individual to the next and largely depends on their height, amongst other factors. It’s incorrect to have a screen position that forces the user to tilt their chin or bend and tilt any body part working on their computer. These kinds of positions lead to discomfort, strain, and pain, significantly affecting the user’s productivity.
Other Factors to Consider When Positioning Your Computer Screen
Adjust the Brightness of the Screen
When determining the resolution of your monitor, make sure that the screen is not too bright. Just because the screen resolution has been factory set doesn’t mean it is at the recommended level. Staring at your computer monitor for extended hours throughout the day could lead to severe eye strain. Therefore, you must adjust the brightness level down to help you stay focused.
While you might have set your screen at the proper distance from your seat, you still need to have the appropriate font size. It doesn’t matter if you have set everything right, in some rare cases, you will always find yourself wishing the screen was a little bit closer. In this case, you’ll want to readjust your screen font size.
While positioning your screen will help you get the best benefit using your computer, a poor-quality screen will not do much to protect your eyes from harmful effects. A good quality computer screen not only makes it easy to position your computer screen but is also gentle to your eyes, improving your productivity.
Chair and Keyboard
Without the proper chair and keyboard, you’ll find it extremely difficult to get the recommended angle to use your computer without straining your body effectively. When sitting on a chair, make sure your back is straight, feet are flat, and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. When working on your computer for extended periods, your hips must be flush with the rest of your body, to offer adequate support.
Your keyboard also matters a lot when it comes to setting the right position for your computer monitor. Apart from being another input device for your computer, it has a lot of bearing on the location of your arms, elbows, wrists, shoulder, and back. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that your elbows are beyond the 90-degree angle extension from yourself. You could also adjust your keyboard based on the sections you frequently use by using keyboard trays or tilts.
Healthy Tips Using your Monitor
The 20/20 Rule
If you are one of those individuals who work on their computers for prolonged periods; you must take a 20-second break every 20 minutes. During this eye-break, look at least 20-feet away. It offers your eyes a break and a chance to adjust focus, helping avoid visual fatigue?
Ensure your screen is always clean
The cleanliness of devices is often taken for granted. You must clean your screen from time to time with a recommended solvent; to remove any accumulated fingerprints or dust and to ensure a clean and visually consistent view.
Routine Eye Check-up
Using your computer for extended periods could lead to eye strain and possibly damage. For most individuals, the natural change in vision usually occurs when they get to their 50’s. It is, therefore, essential to schedule a routine eye check-up with a qualified professional. In case of any of the screen adjustments, you have made that make you feel uncomfortable, keep adjusting until you are comfortable, or consult your physician if it persists.
If you are unable to make any of the discussed adjustments on your screen along with the stand it comes with, then it is time to replace your computer monitor with a new one. Remember, good computing starts with paying attention to your body’s experience. Following the discussed tips will not only improve your productivity working on your computer but also help your arms, eyes, shoulder, and neck feel better.