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Dual Screens: How to Position Them?

Question: I have two screens at my office workstation and I think the set-up may be the cause of some neck pain. Is there a certain way I should be positioning them?

Our PRO Answer:

When doing ergonomic assessments, it is quite common for us to see two monitors set-up in such a way that when looking straight ahead (i.e. neutral neck), the user is actually looking directly at the seam between them. This means that no matter which screen is being viewed, 100% of computer time is spent with the neck in a rotated/twisted posture. Ergonomics means ‘fitting the work to the worker’ and by staring at the seam, you are in essence doing the opposite, and making yourself (the worker) fit to the work (the monitor set-up). Ouch!

dual monitor set up

When we use two monitors, it is necessary to define one as your primary screen and the other as your secondary screen.

Often, our primary screen is where the bulk of the work happens such as writing a report, analyzing spreadsheets, etc., while our secondary screen is simply used as more of a reference screen, for reference documents or to keep an eye on our emails. Once you make this determination, you then need to position them appropriately.

Move your primary monitor so that it is directly in front of you to ensure a neutral neck position to view. Adjust the secondary monitor to your dominant-eye side. Since this should only be a reference screen, the majority of your time will be spent with neutral neck postures to look straight ahead at your primary screen, with minimal twisting to view the second screen.

Click here to read our article on how to determine your eye dominance.

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