Dual Monitors Done Right

October 03, 2008 at 12:00 PM

After getting back to school and settling in, I put some serious thought into my current desk setup. Considering I’m planning on sitting at this desk for the next ~14 months (which is actually quite a long time for me stay in one place), I wanted to ensure that it was ergonomically sound. My main guide was a pair of Coding Horror articles, a programmer blog from Jeff Atwood. They had been on my mind for awhile, but I didn’t have the time or money until now to do something about them until now!

Proper Posture

For the amount of time I sit at my desk, I should care about the manner in how I sit there. Computer Ergonomics was the first article which I checked. Following the guidelines:

  • I put 2 books under my iMac, raising the center of my monitor to be directly at my eye sight looking foward.
  • Raised my chair, so that my belly button is elevated at the same level as my desktop.
  • Pushed my iMac back, allowing my arms to fully rest on my desktop.

After about 2-3 weeks of doing this, I’d say it’s helped. I’m already used to sitting at my desk for hours on end, but I feel less stressed maybe, less cramps while doing so now. Recommended advice I already follow is to get up every 20 minutes or so and wander around my apartment. Keep the blood flowing!

Twice As Good

The second article, LCD Monitor Arms, had been in my mind for awhile, but I didn’t have the funds to support it. I’ve had two LCDs screens available to me for a few years now and I would never go back. However, on my current setup, desk space is at a premium and I can’t space items out as far as I would like. That means that positioning a 2nd LCD on the right hand side of my desk was interfering with my right handed mouse. The solution was a desktop mounted arm.

The Ergotron LX desk arm is awesome. I mounted my old 20" LCD onto the arm and now I can free up the desk space beneath the LCD, along with position the LCD exactly where I would like it. It’s not cheap, around $125 with tax for me, but a worthwhile investment for the time being. I’m quite pleased with it.

My desk situation is quite comfortable right now, although I will have to wait another year before I buy the Aeron. I would highly recommend to take sometime and evalute your own situation!

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