What’s the proper height for your computer monitor?

What’s the proper height for your computer monitor?

Business woman with neck painOne of the most common ailments for the modern worker is chronic tension in the back of the neck and down into the shoulders. I’ve worked with countless women who have told me “I keep my tension in my neck and shoulders.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard that statement, I’d be swimming in a vault of nickels like Scrooge McDuck.

Having experienced endless tension in my neck and shoulders in the past, I thought I’d share one simple change you can make to your workstation to help with that tension.

It’s simple. So simple.

You’re going to hate how simple it is once you’ve implemented it and seen the results (although, like anything, this may not work for 100% of people).

Raise your screen.

I know, I know.

You’ve been all over the internet and ErgoCanada told you that the top of the screen should be at eye level. 

I don’t agree. I’ve been a hard core computer user since I was six. I’ve had my screen at all kinds of levels. I’ve had old 14″ CRT monitors, 19″ widescreen LCDs, and 21.5″ iMac, and even a 27″ TV screen on occasion as monitors. Regardless of the size of the screen, there is one level that consistently keeps my neck and shoulders feeling good.

You may also want to check out this video on why sitting is bad for you.

I put the center of the screen at eye level.

That’s it.

I don’t care how big your monitor is. If you have a monitor that’s 27″ and put the top of the monitor at eye level, think about how much you will need to look down! Set the middle of the screen at eye level, and you’ll save yourself a crick in the neck and soreness in the shoulders.

When you have the screen set lower, you tend to draw your chin down toward your chest so you can see all the stuff “below” you. Would you enjoy tucking your chin for 8 hours, looking down at the floor, on Saturday? Probably not. Would you enjoy tucking your chin into your chest for 8 hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to see the spreadsheet you’re working on? Exactly!

This simple fix has helped countless CFOs, CPAs, and programmers that I’ve worked with over the years.  Try it out and see how it works for you.

This video can help you get your seat a little more ergonomic friendly too.

Leave a Reply 8 comments

Angela lowrey - January 6, 2013 Reply


I love your posts!!!They provide such knowledge and common sense.
I have a topic request! I have been seeing advertisements for a traction belt that will give your lower back traction while wearing it. I work in a chiro office and I know I will be getting questions about it. What is your opinion on braces like that for support?

Matt Hsu - January 7, 2013 Reply

Thanks Angela. Can you provide a link to the traction belt you’re talking about?

    Angela lowrey - January 8, 2013 Reply

    hey matt,
    I saw the advertisement on TV. I will have to write down the name!!!It wraps around the middle/lower back and somehow creates pressure to make space in the waist.
    Thanks angela

      Matt Hsu - January 8, 2013 Reply

      Well…if it’s on TV, it must be good! 😉

        Angela lowrey - January 14, 2013 Reply

        Hey Matt,
        This is the link to the traction belt!! As we teach the Egoscue Method to others, let us remember strength comes from the inside out NOT the outside in!!!One concern is using the brace for long periods of time. This may create an atrophy of the muscles that are supposed to be supporting the integrity of the lower back. I think you did post an article about braces a while back. Can you share your opinion on them? here is the link: http://www.alliedhomemedical.com/w2/?page_id=677

        Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and time,

          Matt Hsu - January 25, 2013 Reply

          There’s a time and place for braces, obviously, but “always and everywhere” is usually not the answer for the long term but in the rarest of instances. Unfortunately, I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong. The best a brace or orthotic is going to do is maintain a certain position for you that you likely should be able to maintain yourself through proper neuromuscular training.

          The post you were talking about, I believe, is here: http://www.uprighthealth.com/2012/06/04/do-orthotics-relieve-foot-knee-hip-back-pain/

10 Tips To Safeguard Your Child’s Back | The Parenting Pacemaker.com - June 10, 2013 Reply

[…] 2. Use a desktop If you don’t have a desktop computer at home, buy a laptop stand, separate keyboard and mouse for their laptop so they can use it at the desk and the screen will be at the right height. The centre of the screen should be at eye level. See this link for more information about  ==> screen height  […]

How to setup your ergonomic workstation in a hotel - Upright Health - July 6, 2017 Reply

[…] a separate stand for your laptop, but it’s well worth it. If you can elevate your laptop so the screen is set at eye level, you’ll find it easier to breathe (literally). It’ll also help you fight the scourge of […]

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