Ergonomic Monitor Setup

Your monitor is your view into the world of the internet and your computer tasks. It is critical that you get the best monitor you can. If you have poor contrast, poor brightness or a tiny monitor, you can easily get headaches from using it. If you have a tiny monitor, you are also forced to use a "large resolution" in order to see the letters. That means as a result that you can only see a tiny portion of web pages at a time. The larger your actual monitor screen, the more of a given webpage you can see at once - and the more of whatever document or image you are working on will be visible as well.

Make sure that your monitor is at or slightly below your line of vision. It is much more natural for the head and neck to be aimed across or slightly down, vs having to look up all the time. Have the monitor faced right at you, with as little glare as possible on the screen. Get a glare protector if you can't change the position of lights in your office area.

Have the monitor aim up slightly to meet your gaze. This is just like reading a book - you tend to look down at the book, and have the book at an angle so you are reading it straight on.

Try to keep the monitor at the same brightness level as other objects in your work area. You don't want to have your eyes adjusting and readjusting as you look around. Your eyes see dark letters on a white background best - this also helps to minimize glare. You get more glare from a darker background.

Keep the monitor at 25" or more (i.e. arms length) away from your head. Many studies have shown that the further away the screen is, the easier it is for your eyes to focus on it. Of course one downside here is that the letters "seem" smaller and smaller as you move the monitor away from you, so you compensate by changing the screen resolution so that things seem larger. That also means you can see less of a given document at a time. So the key here is to move the monitor as far as reasonably possible from your eyes - and to get the biggest monitor you can. That way even when you make the letters large enough to compensate for the distance, you still get a large area of screen to work with.

However you set up your monitor, take a break at least every hour. Stop looking at the screen and focus at something far away. Your eyes need that break to relax the muscles and renew. Remember, you only have one set of eyeballs! Treat them well, don't take them for granted.

Ergonomic Articles Main Listing

Main Page on Setting Up Your Home Office
Running a Home Business