Product Comparison:

In-Line Document Holder

Viewing paperwork placed directly on a desktop for transcription or data entry is likely to lead to awkward neck and back postures, specifically simultaneous twisting and flexion. An in-line document holder allows office workers to raise and angle all materials off the desktop in order to improve postures for viewing. Multiple styles exist, each with their own positives and negatives; 3 styles are reviewed below

In-Line Document Holder

As a positive, an in-line document holder is a useful office accessory that better positions paperwork relative to the worker, particularly directly between the computer monitor and the keyboard. The holder is adjustable in angle so the reader can angle documents to meet their gaze with a more neutral neck position, and also adjust for height (i.e. the document support can be adjusted to hang over the desk edge) to prevent the monitor from being blocked. From an ergonomics perspective, this of document holder wins the award for “most preferred” due its versatility to improve postures.

Pitfalls do exist, however. For instance, some in-line document holders can be relatively large (up to 18”) and in certain spaces, this may be added bulk to an already cramped work area. They also tend to cost more than a traditional stand-up document holder (though we would argue it’s worth the added cost!).

Monitor Mount Document Holder

From a positive standpoint, a monitor mounted document holder better positions paperwork off the desktop, eliminating the need for neck flexion (i.e. look down to the desktop). They are typically easy to use and implement into a workstation at a low cost.

Despite improved neck (and back) postures with respect to flexion, awkward postures are not entirely eliminated as a degree of neck rotation (twisting) is still required to view documents. And in today’s computer workstations where it is common to see two monitors being used, adding a monitor mounted document holder results in a wide span to view and significantly more neck rotation.

Standard Desktop Document Holder

A standard desktop document holder is useful to minimize poor neck postures, and allows you to do so at a relatively cheap price point. However, as is the case with the monitor mount option, a standard holder does not entirely remove poor neck postures, requiring a degree of rotation and flexion to view mounted paperwork.

Regardless of the style of document holder, if you are doing transcription or data entry, moving the documents to improve your neck and back postures will be beneficial to your overall comfort.
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