Monitor Arms

Written by Erwann Marshall
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Monitor arms are often forgotten when the overall design and ergonomic capabilities of an office desk are discussed. However, the position and angle of the monitor itself depends on other factors. These factors, such as the height of the chair in relation to the desk and keyboard, can affect eye-level and may require the use of an arm for the monitor.

There are many benefits to using a monitor arm, the most noticeable being the release of much-needed desk space. Monitor arms are built strong enough to handle the average CRT monitor and can be affixed to a desk, shelf or portion of the wall. Some arms have been designed and manufactured especially for LCD flat-panel screens and are just as flexible and customizable as regular arms.

Ergonomic Guidelines to Monitor Arms

First, the screen should be placed 18-30 inches from the user and be adjusted at a right angle to windows to reduce glare. It must never be tilted more than 10° to 20°--otherwise, either glare or a distortion of the screen's surface may interfere with proper viewing clarity. If the arm has a document holder option, use it as often as possible to reduce movement of the neck and head.

Most people do not immediately notice the ergonomic qualities of monitor arms. By placing a monitor in an appropriate position, the user can reduce the chances of awkward positions, exertions of the neck, upper back and eyes and unwanted glare from overhanging lights or nearby windows. These in turn can prevent back pains, eye strain, fatigue and muscle spasms over the years.

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