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Summit Medical Group of Oak Ridge

Computer Monitor Height-By Dr. Wesley Hayes

In this day and age, computers are becoming more of a daily process. Improper computer monitor position can contribute to neck pain, neck fatigue, and even headache, back or shoulder pain. For those of you with a desktop monitor, here are some suggestions:
1. All adjustments should be made from a position with your feet able to comfortable touch the floor or footrest and providing adequate room for your thighs, not to be pressed against the underside of the work surface.
2. Place the monitor directly in front of you so that your head, neck and torso are facing forward. Prolonged viewing to the left or the right can contribute to neck pain. If this is not possible due to work environment, try to avoid viewing angles past 35 degrees to either side. If you work primarily from paper, but have a computer monitor for part of your work, place the paperwork directly in front of you and the monitor slightly to one side or the other.
3. Place the monitor so that the top of the viewing area is about at eye level.
4. Try to get the main viewing area of the computer at about 15-20 degrees below eye level. This can be accomplished by adjusting either the computer monitor height or your chair height.
5. If you have bifocals, the situation becomes more problematic. It may be necessary to have a lower viewing angle. A good rule of thumb is that you should not have to lean your head back in order to see the monitor. Again, this can be accomplished by adjusting chair or computer monitor height.
Hopefully this can help you decrease some stress and strain at work. More information can be found at the OSHA website, which is updated regularly. There are also some good visual aids on the site. www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations