While it may not seem like it, the way equipment is mounted on a desk will have an impact on a user’s health. An adjustable monitor arm is as important an ergonomic component as a chair or a desk itself. Trading desks often need one or more computer screens to be mounted, and the way this is done plays a big part.
When we sit in front of a computer screen our bodies will adjust its posture, sometimes without us realizing it, so that our eyes are at the right distance from the screen. A standard monitor standing on a desk has limited adjustability, so they will only work ergonomically for a limited number of people. An adjustable monitor arm gives you a lot more freedom to place the screen into a perfect position, one which makes it ideal for focusing. There are two factors determining monitor height, distance and angle:
- Eye height from the seated position: The best location for your monitor is slightly below eye height, but the seated eye height in US adults varies by 11.4”. Installing your monitor on an adjustable arm will allow each user to set the screen to his or her own preferences. The most natural way to position it is so that you are looking at your screen in a slight downward gaze, with the exception of bifocal wearers, who usually prefer the screen lower. This will prevent extension of the neck, which may lead to back and shoulder problems, as now they won’t have to lift their head to look through the bottom part of their glasses.
- Distance from the monitor: There is no perfect distance, except the one that each individual feels most comfortable with. If people are free to adjust their monitor, the range of distance is between 20 and 39 inches. Most often a person’s age is a determining factor, as the older one gets, the harder it gets for your eyes to compensate for glare and the lower your clearness of vision will be. Oftentimes employees will also want to adjust the screen distance based on the time of the day as near-vision fatigue kicks in.
There is no one-size fits all when it comes to positioning a monitor, so if a monitor is limited in its movements, an employee’s posture will be determined not by what is best for his spine and muscles, but by what is for him the best focal distance. Therefore, an adjustable monitor arm is the perfect way to keep your employees healthy, which in turn leads to higher productivity. It will also be useful in a collaborative workspace, where multiple people are using the same monitor throughout the week.
Ergonomicists suggest using different input devices throughout the day to limit the risk of repetitive stress injuries. While the keyboard and mouse have been the two major input devices for years, the touchscreen is becoming more and more popular. Soon a screen will transition from being an input device to an output device throughout the day, which will require huge flexibility in the positioning of the screen.
The most flexible monitor arm you can get is the “float and freeze”, which allows the screen to be moved to any desired position; it will stay in that position once let go without having to lock it. An adjustable arm like that also allows easy access to ports.