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There is no single correct viewing position for the computer screen.

The main considerations include the following:

  • the neck is not arched and the chin does not extend forwards,
  • the screen characters can be seen clearly and comfortably,
  • it is suitable for the specific eyewear worn by the user.

A general guide to setting up the monitor:

  • screen height-the top of the screen should be set at eye level or just below and the bottom of the screen can be read without a marked inclination of the head. Usually this means that the centre of the screen will need to be near shoulder height. Eyes should be level with the tool bar.
  • viewing distance-Set the eye-to-screen distance at the distance that permits you to most easily focus on the screen. Usually this will be within an arm’s length.

Multiple computer monitors

The principles for setting up multiple monitors are the same as those for setting up a single monitor-that is, the displays can be seen easily in a comfortable position.

Tips to help set up multiple monitors.

If one monitor is used more frequently than the other:

  • Place the primary monitor straight ahead to avoid twisting the body or neck to one side to view the display.
  • Turn in the chair to face the second screen instead of turning the head or neck.

If using multiple monitors with equal frequency:

  • arrange the monitors in an arc
  • position the screens at equal viewing distance from the user
  • position the screens right next to each other.

If using a combination of computers e.g. a desktop monitor and a laptop computer:

  • place the laptop on a docking station or stand so that the laptop display is at the same height as the desktop monitor.
  • place the laptop and desktop monitors at an equal viewing distance, particularly if the user is wearing reading glasses

Laptop computers

Laptop computers are designed for short-term or mobile use. They are very convenient but can challenge good working postures.

When using a laptop for significant periods, or when being used as a desk top replacement, use separate components (full sized peripherals) that allow for better posture and can be independently adjusted. Components include docking stations, laptop stands, external monitors, external keyboards and mouse.