Why do we (or why should we) use monitor arms?
When you are sat at your workstation, the posture that you adopt is mainly influenced by the height, distance, and angle of your screen. If the screen is too far away you may find yourself hunching forwards over your desk during the day as your eyes can become tired and strained from looking the screen. Why not try a quick ergonomic test at work? Take note of your colleagues' posture in the morning, then at midday then at the end of the day. It is likely, that if they are not utilising monitor arms, their position and posture will change for the worse, due to them not being able to bring their monitor screens in closer. If the monitor screen is positioned too low your head will naturally tilt down, putting a strain on your spine. Monitor arms, therefore, give the user the freedom to position the screen to a level or a distance where they are most comfortable, protecting themselves throughout the day from eye strain, neck strain, and other potential ailments that may occur without the use of a monitor arm.
The main goal and benefits of ergonomic solutions are to improve the health of our workforce and improve our overall wellbeing levels. The emphasis on wellbeing and the health of our workforce has never been greater, in fact, we are lucky to be living in times where ergonomic factors are being highlighted, both by employer and employee. We are now more ergonomically conscious than ever, so it's important that our workstations are set up to meet our ergonomic requirements, which will in turn help prevent injury or strain.
The main complaints from office workers are neck, back, and eye pain. These problems may arise from having a monitor set up in a non-adjustable fixed position. The introduction of a monitor arm aims to reduce these complaints and by raising the monitor above your working environment ensures high user comfort. There is a recommended distance that should be between 15-25 inches from your eyes and the adjustable monitor arm set so the top of your screen is around or just below eye level. This setup, matched with a comfortable and supported seat and correct workspace posture will ensure a happy, comfortable and productive workforce.
The monitor arm, may at first, seem like a small, maybe unimportant part of an ergonomic setup but when you research and speak to ergonomic specialists within the industry they often always refer to the value and importance it brings. Your position and posture are predominantly influenced by looking at a monitor screen so, like a rearview mirror within a car, it makes sense to mount monitors on an adjustable arm. There are many products such as ergo friendly keyboards, ergonomic seating and footstools for increased circulation. However, these tools need to be used alongside an adjustable arm. There is little point having an ergonomic keyboard, chair, and height adjustable desk if your neck or eyes are straining because you have to look down at your monitor screen. All ergonomic products and solutions should work together in harmony to ensure the perfect workspace for a healthy working experience.
When you consider that some offices opting for smaller desks, in order to maximise space, we inherently face a challenge of limited desk space. A standard flat panel monitor on a stand can take up a considerable amount of desk space. Most people now work from two screens which limits the desk space further. With a monitor arm you can position the monitor to 'float' above your desk which in turn frees up valuable space, this in turn can lead to a tidier, clutter-free workstation which can certainly increase productivity levels. Research has also indicated that if somebody feels like they can control their immediate working environments such as chair height, desk height and monitor position they feel happier and they are less likely to be interrupted by levels of discomfort.
Working practices and offices have seen a shift towards agile working or hot deking where you can choose to work at a free desk if all other desks are occupied. Having a monitor arm on a hot desk ensures that each user can position their screen to suit their own ergonomic requirements with ease and in minimal time. This ensures that minimal time is wasted by their staff 'getting comfy' or constantly adjusting their workspace. This can no doubt increase productivity levels.
The other benefits of Monitor Arms
How often have you wanted to show a colleague or a client a presentation or an example of some work? Without a monitor arm, they often have to get down to your level or move closer towards your screen to see. One major benefit of a pole or gas arm is that it will give you the ability to use it as a presentation tool, you can adjust it to exactly where it is needed. Another benefit is that modern-day monitor arms can now accommodate a number of monitors with relative ease. Multiple monitors are commonplace with the financial and healthcare sector and having them aligned and fitted correctly will give each worker a better viewing platform. This can lead to fewer errors being made as sensible provisions have already been taken into account leading to a higher output from staff with a marked increase in productivity.
As we have said previously, the monitor arm, although probably not a forefront of everybody's mind should be considered as an important part of an ergonomic setup. The positioning of the monitor is responsible for your posture throughout the day. Here are the summarising points regarding monitor arms:
Increased employee comfort, improving wellbeing levels
Reduces and prevents risk of neck, back, and eye injury
Free up desk space, increasing productivity.
Make each workstation or hot desk adaptable for different users
Keeps your posture upright and prevents hunching towards the screen