Technological advancements of the modern age allowed many of us to put manual labor behind us. However, modern solutions bring along modern problems. Tasks that used to require skills such as manual typing or physical archiving now require us to sit motionlessly and look at a screen all day.
This is why the height of your monitor is of great importance. If you’re experiencing chronic neck problems or your eyes get too tired too easily, your monitor placement might be the culprit. You may not realize it, but a monitor that’s placed too high or too low might be putting too much strain on your neck.
So, how high should a monitor be? Let’s find out.
Can a Monitor Be Too High?
You can adjust the monitor height by placing it on a platform or on a wall, but what if it’s too high?
If your monitor is placed too high, you may have to look up all the time. This position puts too much stress on your spine and can cause chronic neck pain and stiffness.
Let’s take a look at some factors that you need to consider when placing your monitor.
What to Consider When Placing Your Monitor
When it comes to finding the correct monitor placement, there are a number of things that can lead you in the right direction. Here, we have explained what to look for if you want to optimize your monitor placement and reduce or prevent neck pain in the long run.
How High Should a Monitor Be?
Ideally, your monitor should be placed so that your eyes meet the upper third of your screen when you’re looking at it. To be more specific, when you sit at a comfortable position at your desk and fix your gaze parallel to the ground, your eyes should be looking at about 5 to 10 cm below the top of your screen.
If your monitor is lower than the ideal position, which is usually the case, there are a number of easy fixes before you start thinking about a desk replacement. The easiest route you can take is placing a phone book or any big, sturdy book under your monitor. However, while this is an obvious fix that is almost guaranteed to work, it may not exactly be the look you’re going for.
To raise your monitor in a more fashionable way, you can get a desk raiser, which is a height-adjustable platform that you can set on your desktop. If your monitor height is the only problem, however, you can look for one that’s on the smaller side.
If your desk also feels low, some desk raisers offer a separate platform to raise your monitor independently, so you can get one of those to adjust both your desk height and monitor height to your liking.
If you want to find out more about raising your desk, you can take a look at our recent post on how to raise a desk .
What Angle Should My Monitor Be Positioned At?
Even if your monitor is positioned at the correct height, there are still some environmental factors that you may need to consider to get the most out of your screen. Light sources are the first things you should optimize because they may cause glaring.
Glaring isn’t ideal because it may cause you to constantly move your head in order to see things that are on the different parts of your screen. It can also cause eyestrain because it makes it hard to see and read.
If you want to avoid glare, be mindful of the light sources around your computer, as well as any windows. There shouldn’t be any windows or any powerful light source directly behind you. A window that’s directly in front of you isn’t great either. Natural light should come from the side instead of from the back or front, which should minimize the glare.
We should note that natural light is the worst offender regarding glare issues on your screen. Although it’s less than ideal, having an electrical light source (i.e., a light bulb) behind you is not a big deal. If you can’t see the reflection of the light source directly on your screen, it should be fine.
How Far Away Should Your Monitor Be?
One factor that’s often overlooked is the distance between your eyes and your monitor. We know that we need to set our screen so that our gaze falls on the upper third of the screen, but what if the distance is too far or near?
Sit in your desk chair in a comfortable position. Extend your arms directly in front of you and reach out to your monitor. The perfect distance is when your fingertips barely touch your monitor. Make sure your back isn’t extended in an unnatural position when you do this to avoid setting an incorrect distance.
If you’re using your computer on a standing desk, on the other hand, you may find it harder to keep an ideal distance from your monitor at all times. This is not a rule set in stone, and not keeping this distance all the time doesn’t have to mean that you’ll be experiencing pain and discomfort. Just make sure to follow the rule whenever you can.
How High Should My Monitor Be For Gaming?
If you game a lot, you probably have a gaming setup with a desk and a chair. But you may also like to game on the couch or on a bean bag chair set up in front of a monitor. However, constantly looking up at a screen is not great for your posture.
This is where gaming chairs come in. Even if it doesn’t help you win games, investing in a good-quality gaming chair can help you keep your gaze at a safe height and angle and prevent future back pain and other related issues.
How High Should My Monitor Be For Work?
Contrary to gaming, we’re usually at an office during work hours, sitting at a desk and chair all stressful for long hours, putting extra strain on our spines.
You may also want to consider screen angles to optimize your position in front of the screen to the fullest. While it’s hard to keep a steady angle while gaming or performing other tasks on the computer, office work usually involves typing or reading, which requires less motion.
Tilt your monitor at a comfortable angle that can make things easier for you. This way, you don’t need to move your head as your look at the bottom or the top of your screen and can keep your preferred distance.
To sum up, everything we covered: your monitor should be positioned slightly below your eye level so that your gaze is on the upper third of the screen when you look at it.
Additionally, glare issues and distance are other crucial factors in setting your monitor height, and finding the right angle can be extra beneficial. While the height rule doesn’t change for gamers, the best practice is to use a gaming chair instead of gaming on the couch to avoid posture problems.
Finally, tilting your screen back can be another way to reduce head motion, which should be beneficial if you’re working but may be challenging for gaming.