Just as the position of your chair and the height of your desk determine how you sit at your keyboard, the position of your monitor directly influences your posture when you’re sitting. Ergonomically speaking, what is most important about your monitor and its position is that you are able to look straight at it. You should not have to tilt your head up or down to see it.
The screen image should be at eye level or slightly below your eye level. This helps you keep your head erect while typing, which lessens the risk of neck pain. If you have to tilt your eyes upward, even just a little, your eye muscles will inevitably tire and strain. If you have to look up at the screen, you’ll probably tilt your head and neck backward, and cause these muscles to be strained and fatigued, too.
Likewise, your monitor should not be too close to your eyes, or too far away. In either case, having the monitor at the wrong distance can trigger eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. When the monitor is too far away, you may have to squint or lean forward to see it. When the monitor is too close, your eyes can have difficulty focusing. This may cause you to push back from the screen. But then you’ll likely have to stretch to reach the keyboard.
Ideally, your monitor should be positioned on your work surface at least 20 inches away from your face, but not farther than 40 inches away. You should not position your monitor off to the side, even if it is at eye level. When your monitor is off-center, you use your neck muscles unevenly, which can cause fatigue and pain. As a general rule, always aim to have your head, neck, and torso face forward.
If repositioning your monitor is difficult or not possible, try raising or lowering your chair to change your eye level. Adjust chair height if you think it’s necessary, and then see if the difference in chair height keeps you from tilting your head. If you have a corner desk, placing your monitor in the corner will provide more depth and enable you to properly position your monitor.
Note: If you experience musculoskeletal pain and discomfort now, or while completing the Typesy Course, you may need to seek professional help. Only someone with the proper training can accurately diagnosis the source of your pain or discomfort and recommend a treatment plan that may or may not include ergonomics.
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