Monitor Arm Ergonomics
If you sit and stand at an adjustable-height desk, you should have a monitor arm. Correct monitor arm ergonomics are essential. A monitor that’s too high or too low is setting the user up for neck and shoulder pain.
You should also consider that our spines stretch when we stand, meaning our monitor height should be an inch or two higher (relative to the desk height) when you stand. There’s no doubt about it: External displays connected to ergonomic monitor arms are essential for all standing desk users.
Many conventional monitor mount designs never anticipated their use on a standing desk or treadmill desk, where a higher top-end height adjustment range is needed to compensate for the fact that our spines stretch out a few inches when we stand. That means that the distance between where the user needs to have their monitor(s) relative to their keyboard height can increase by several inches when they stand, and many ‘ergonomic monitor arms’ simply don’t go high enough, resulting in neck-craning (despite their ‘ergonomic’ branding).
Two-legged standing desks also are inherently less stable than four-legged sitting desks, and at higher heights (i.e. a common issue for taller users) they can shake quite a bit when users pound away on their keyboards. We have more upper body muscle engagement when we stand or walk than we do when we sit at a desk, inducing more forces on the keyboard, which can then get amplified by a monitor arm that has too much flex to it.
Monitor arms that work best for active workstations are those with tighter joints, stronger metal components and smaller manufacturing tolerances, that will not amplify these oscillations into a shaky screen experience.
Check out these articles by our staff experts on the ergonomics of monitor arms to make sure you understand what an ergonomic keyboard tray can, and should, do for you.
What’s the Difference between Gas Piston and Metal Spring Counterbalance Mechanisms in Monitor Arms?
The most significant internal difference between different models is whether they are built using air cylinders or compression springs.
The Stand Steady Clamp-On Ergonomic Monitor Arm is $89.99, can mount up to four monitors, features cord management hooks and has an easy assembly.
A review of the Fully Jarvis Single monitor arm is coming soon! It can support 2.2 lbs to 19.8 lbs, swivel 360 degrees and comes with a 10-year warranty.
A review of the Amazon Basics Premium single monitor arm is coming soon! It supports 5 lbs to 25 lbs and changes from landscape to portrait mode.