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The Best Position of your Monitors – Working From Home

double monitor set up

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

If you experience pain after sitting in front of the computer, it is good to check your setup. As we started working from home, most of us left the office with a laptop alone. Now that we've been working from home for over a year, we've bought monitors, laptop risers, or other equipment to make things a little more comfortable. But how do you know if your setup is right? In this blog, we are covering the position of your monitors.

There are three main subjects to think about and needs to be checked:

Distance - Place your monitor(s) an arm's length away from you.

Height - Position the monitors so that your eyes focus on the top one-third of the screen.

Position - Position yourself in the middle of the screens depending on the frequency of use

These suggestions are to keep your neck in a neutral position, reduce eye strain, and maintain good vision. This is especially important when you spend many hours a day looking at your computer screen. Remember that you can adjust the brightness and size of your monitor. Instead of getting you close to the equipment, we try to set up the equipment around you.

Laptop only

The most ideal situation is to use a monitor, keyboard, and mouse and not a laptop at all. But if we have to use a laptop, we can put the laptop on a stand or some books or boxes to get the screen to the right height for our eyes. Here we have to use a separate keyboard and mouse so that we can stay in a good upright and balanced posture. The laptop is very suitable for working remotely. Unfortunately, the position of the laptop screen is usually too low.

If you only need to use the laptop, it is important to take frequent breaks and pay attention to your posture. This image shows the rounded back position, crossed legs, and forward head position of the laptop user. In the second image, the person is now sitting with their backs against the backrest, feet on the floor and the laptop screen is unfolded further/pushed away from you. This means that the user is in a balanced and lifted position.

correct and incorrect position of your laptop monitor

Multiple monitors

When using a laptop as a second screen, as in the second image here. Place the laptop on a laptop stand, beside the monitor.  Aim to have both screens as close to the same height as possible and you may need to pull the laptop closer to you so you can read it easily.  

If you are using multiple screens, place them side by side and as close to each other as possible. Try to use fewer screens where possible, one screen directly in front of you reduces the need to turn the head and neck often. Try asking yourself if you really use and need multiple monitors at work? Ergonomic recommendations will focus on reducing the extent of neck movements.

If you use two monitors equally, it is ergonomically recommended in 50% of cases to tilt the screens so that they are slightly concave, creating a semicircle around you. This ensures a consistent focal length between you and the monitors. If one monitor is primarily used, about 80% of the time - in this case, centre the one most directly used for you. Place the secondary monitor to the side of your dominant eye.

multiple monitor setup

How can Fit for Work help?

To learn more about setting up or managing an ergonomics program that supports staff working from home or in the office or support with staying legally compliant, you can reach out to Fit for Work. For more information on our Ergonomics Self-Assessment and Education Tool, contact us.