So you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your workspace. Rest assured, you’re not alone. More and more desk-bound folks are realizing that a traditional desk and monitor setup just isn’t cutting it anymore. Standing desks are on the rise (pun intended) and the possible risks of working at a desk for eight or more hours a day are, frankly, kind of scary. There’s back injuries, muscle strain, and weight gain...just to name a few. Not to fear, though! With an increase of information comes an increase in tools specifically designed to ensure that you’re working in a way that isn’t harmful to your body.
One of the easiest ways to adapt your space is by raising your monitor to its proper ergonomic height. That means ditching the dusty stand it came with and upgrading to a monitor arm. If you’re working from a laptop, adding another monitor display and attaching it to an arm not only upgrades your health but also gives you the added benefit of working across two screens.
Studies have shown that constantly bending your head forward to look down at your monitor can cause eye, neck, and back strain, and over time you can develop a tendency to lean forward to relieve all of that tension, leading to long-term posture issues. By attaching your monitor to an arm, you can customize your desk and avoid all the health risks associated with improper monitor height.
Monitor arms are not “one size fits all,” and there are quite a few options out there, so be sure to consider these questions before buying.
1. Do you need a single, dual or triple configuration?
Adding one or more displays to your workspace can make a huge difference in your productivity. If you’re simply responding to emails or browsing the internet, a single monitor arm may do the trick. Poring over spreadsheets, coding, or using creative software? A dual or triple configuration can transform the way you work for the better.
2. Which monitor arm will be compatible with your monitor’s size and weight?
It’s important to note that not all monitor arms are created equal. Be sure to check the weight capacity range. A light monitor used with heavy duty arm will not provide enough tension to keep your monitor arm in the right position. Alternatively, a heavy monitor used with an arm designed for light use will be too weighted down. The size specifications and mounting bracket are essential too. Most monitors and monitor arms today are VESA mount compatible, but be sure to check the specs of both before you purchase.
3. What monitor arm positioning fits you?
One of the best things about monitor arms is that they’re customizable. Two or three monitors side by side can offer a wide layout perfect for video editing or sound mixing, for example. A single monitor vertically oriented can display a social media feed or a long spreadsheet. The choice is yours, and don’t be afraid to try out various positionings to see what works best for you!4. Will your desktop be compatible?
Most monitor arms will attach to your desktop with a clamp or a grommet hole adapter. Always make sure that your desktop’s thickness and/or grommet hole diameter will be compatible with the monitor arm you choose.
5. Which color should you choose?
Most monitor arm makers give you the exciting choice between black, white or gray. It may not be the most important factor when choosing a monitor arm, but matching the color to your monitor or desk surroundings can create a more seamless workspace. It can also provide a nice accent color, if the rest of your workstation is uniform and you want to add a little flavor.
6. Does it include cord management?
This is a valuable but often forgotten quality. Who wants cords hanging down from their monitors and strewn all of their desk? Nobody. Make sure your monitor arm has an integrated cable management system to keep those cords and cables where they belong: off of your desk and out of sight!
7. What are you going to do with all the space you’re saving?
Nothing is a perfectly fine answer for this question. A clean desk free of distraction can help you stay productive. However, all that open real estate opens up the possibility to add things you never had the space for before. Perhaps a cool desk lamp to bring the space together?