Pain Free Working

A Complete Guide to Monitor Mounts

Thinking of adding a computer monitor mount to your home office or desk at work? Here’s everything you need to know about the accessory before you buy one.

What is a Monitor Mount?

A monitor mount is a supportive arm or bracket meant to hold up a display screen, usually attached to the desk or the wall. Adjustable by height, angle and position, a monitor mount allows you to work comfortably at your desk.

Some mounts are designed to hold up a single screen, while others can hold up dual monitors. You may also use a monitor mount with a bigger display screen, such as a TV in a conference room. But for the purpose of this guide, we will only discuss monitor mounts specifically made for a workstation.

Other terms like “monitor arm” or “monitor bracket” may be used in place of “monitor mount.” You might see other variations, like “wall monitor bracket” or “monitor desk mount” to specify where the mount would be attached to.

Benefits of a Monitor Mount

Other than the obvious advantage that it allows you to customize the placement of your computer screens, here are the benefits of using a monitor mount:

It improves your posture

Posture is a major issue for desk workers. Because some office workstations cannot be customized to every employee’s needs, monitors are simply placed on desks, assuming it’ll be a one-size-fits-all solution. Unfortunately, immobile monitors placed too high or way below eye level causes slouching and other poor posture habits. With bad posture comes detrimental health issues, such as chronic pain, weakened muscles, and increased likelihood of a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain and cardiovascular diseases. Evidently, a lot of components go into correcting one’s posture at a workstation, but a monitor at the right level and angle can make all the difference.

It reduces eye and neck strains

Offices with traditional workstations don’t normally have the proper ergonomic setup. Monitors end up being too close to desk workers’ faces, and either too high or too low, consequently causing dry, tired eyes on top of neck and eye strains. The ability to adjust the height and angle of your monitor takes away all those problems and maximizes comfort while working, as you no longer have to move your neck back and forth or up and down to see everything on your screen.

You become more focused and productive

Dual monitor setups are quite popular among desk workers. With a dual monitor mount, you’ll find yourself working more efficiently since you can allocate certain tasks to different screens, or have multiple files open simultaneously without having to switch between windows. As a result, you’ll have less trouble finding files so you can focus on the task at hand. Plus, it creates an immersive workstation that places more focus on your screens and less on your surroundings. As a result, you’re less likely to become distracted.

A workstation with a single monitor and a laptop does help with organizing open files, though it may not be as effective in keeping you focused as a dual monitor would.

It frees up desk space

Does your workspace ever feel crowded or get cluttered? One advantage that often doesn’t get mentioned often is how much space a monitor frees up on your desk. More space means more room for notebooks, if you need to physically write something down, or a laptop if you’re working on it alongside the computer. Additionally, if you’re a person that cannot work in a mess, a monitor mount clears up your space, thus both your mind and workstation are free from clutter.

It works well with a standing desk

If you have a sit-stand workstation, a desk mount makes it easier to adjust your monitor to your position. Depending on whether seated or standing, you have to make slight changes to the angle or height to make sure you are comfortable while working. A monitor desk mount improves the ergonomic position of both.

Note: This benefit only applies to monitor desk mounts, since wall mounts generally only adjust the angle and depth, and rotate horizontally.

How to Use a Monitor Mount

Using a monitor mount seems pretty straightforward after installation, but there are certain things you need to do in order to make the most out of the product.

1. Position your monitor at the appropriate distance

To prevent eye strain, your computer screen needs to be at certain distance. Ideally, your screen should be at least half a meter away or an arm’s length away from your face when you sit up straight (exact dimensions being 51-71 cm or 20-28 in).

2. Adjust your screen to eye level

To correct the posture of your spine, thereby reducing neck strain, position your screen at eye level, lengthening your neck. Instead of having your monitor perpendicular to your desk, you want to tilt it back slightly to help lift your chin away from your neck. Tilt it to a 10-20 degree angle.

For wall mounts, you need to measure the height between your desktop to your eyes when sitting down so that you can align your monitor properly, making sure that your eyes meet the middle of the screen.

3. Adjust your chair, keyboard and mouse

Having the right posture is not just about the position of your monitor. In fact, the level of your chair and placement of your keyboard and mouse also factor into a good seated or standing position.

To reduce the tendency of slouching, adjust the height of your chair so the desktop aligns with your elbows. You may also need alter the support of your chair so that you are sitting up straight.

4. Adjust your monitor when switching between sitting and standing

This one is exclusive to monitor arms attached to standing desks.

As you raise or lower your desk, you’ll notice that the angle of your monitor may not work for both positions. Although you don’t need to make any major changes to the height or the angle, maybe just slightly tilting or elevating the screen, the important thing to remember is that those minor adjustments do affect your comfort as you sit or stand at your workstation.

What to Look for in a Monitor Mount

Some users find it difficult using a monitor mount, such as bounce, limited height adjustment, etc. In order to avoid these common usage problems, here are some questions to ask yourself before committing to a certain product:

  • Do you need a single or dual monitor stand?
  • How wide is your monitor(s)? What is the maximum size that the monitor supports?
  • Is the monitor mount easy to adjust? If it’s very easy, will it handle the weight of your monitor(s)? Will the monitor bounce as you adjust the height of the mount?
  • Will you use the monitor mount with a standing desk? Is the standing desk sturdy enough to hold that extra weight?
  • Do you prefer a wall mount? Would you rather have a fixed height for your monitors?
  • How easy is the installation process? Will you need someone to install the monitor mount for you?