How to Choose A Monitor Arm
|Ergonomically speaking, your computer monitor should be placed at a height and distance that allows you to view it well without craning your neck forward or tilting your head back to see. If you're hunching downward to view your screen, you can expect to experience pain in your neck, shoulders, or back. An improperly placed screen can also stress your eyes and cause headaches. Your body should be relaxed when you're viewing the screen.|
The correct monitor mount will allow you far better placement options than the stand that came in the box with the monitor. Mounts and arms are available for just about any placement option you can think of. Mounts can hold just one monitor, or many; on your desktop or on the wall. Some mount from the ceiling. The best mounts are modular which means you can buy what you need today and swap out or add parts down the road if your needs change. This can save you money and keep perfectly good product out of the landfill.
So How Should You Mount Your Monitor?
The answers to a few questions will lead to the best choices for you. Jot down the answers to these questions as you begin your search:
- Where do you want to mount your monitor?
- On the wall - do you have a slatwall, accessory rail, or toolbar that will require an adapter to mount? Is there a stud nearby to provide for secure mounting?
- On the desk - is there a grommet hole, will you want to bolt it through a smaller hole in the desk, screw it to the desk surface, or use a clamp to mount it? Would you prefer a movable stand?
- On the ceiling - how much distance is there between the ceiling and your ideal viewing range?
- How many monitors will you be mounting?
- Might you want to add more later?
- Would you like your monitor to be off the desk and free up desk surface for paperwork and other things?
- What does your monitor weigh and how big is it? Knowing the model can be helpful as well.
- What type of mounting plate can be installed on the back? Most models take a 75mm or 100mm square VESA mount. Some require another size. Apple monitors require an adapter. A few models cannot be mounted on anything but the stand they come with.
- How much height adjustment range do you want or need?
- How much depth adjustment would you like?
- Do you have a color preference?
- Are there any unusual circumstances that fit your situation, such as the ability to have two monitors on one post that face different directions or that you'd prefer to move in tandem? If you're using more than one screen, how would you like them laid out? (next to each other, one over the other, two over two, etc.)
Types of Monitor Mounts
|Monitor Stand - Your monitor likely came with a stand, but factory stands offer little to no adjustment for height or tilt, let alone a depth range so you can move it in and out, or the ability to rotate the screen from landscape to portrait mode. An after market desk stand such as this dual monitor desk stand from Ergotech, can provide a better range of adjustment and, as this example shows, let two or more monitors share just one stand, saving desk space.|
|Monitor Mount - A wide variety of mounts are available that improve placement options. A monitor mount may mount your screen to the wall, a panel, or a pole that is mounted to your desk. They offer less range of motion than an articulating arm but are perfect for applications where the monitor will be mounted and rarely adjusted. The Innovative 9136 shown is just one example. Monitor mounts are available to fit multiple monitors and very large, heavy monitors as well. A monitor mount usually offers improved rotation and tilt over a factor stand.|
The Innovative Office Product Duopod can be used side by side as well.
|Articulating Monitor Arm - For maximum adjustment flexibility an articulating arm is the best choice. Many offer easy fingertip adjustment making it easy to adjust, then move again as needed. An articulating arm is perfect in situations where the worker sits and stands, or where there's more than one person who shares a workstation. As depth is adjustable, an articulating arm offers the best range of mounting placement. An articulating monitor arm frees up valuable desk surface. In multiple monitor applications, models are available that place monitors on separate arms for total flexibility. Other models utilize a crossbar that allows for two or more monitors to be moved in tandem. Some arms allow for easy adjustment of two monitors from side to side to one over the other. Matching the weight of your monitor(s) to the arm is important when choosing an articulating arm.|
Monitor arms vary considerably in the amount of height and depth adjustment range offered. The way in which height is adjusted can also vary. Most arms are calibrated to a specific monitor weight range which is why how much your monitor weighs is critical information. Arms that offer the height adjustment at the post or mount are harder to adjust and are best for "set it and forget it" installations. If you know you will likely change monitor positions from time to time, an arm with fingertip or front-end (at the monitor) adjustability will be more convenient.
If you believe your needs will change in time, choose a model that is modular and can grow with your needs. Innovative Office Products, Ergotech, and some Humanscale models are easily adapted to changing needs.