A person’s desk setup has a significant impact on their performance, whether it's for work or for leisure activities like video games. With poor desk ergonomics, one quickly develops muscle strain that can lead to serious long-term pain and complications. One of the best ways to create a comfortable desk setup is by using a monitor arm.
There are several kinds of monitor arms, each with uses and benefits. Below is a comprehensive guide on what one should know about monitor arms and why to use them.
Benefits of Monitor Arms
A monitor arm provides a wealth of benefits to both those who work at desks and PC gamers. From health benefits to staying organized, here are the main advantages of using one.
Reduce Eye and Neck Strain
The first and foremost benefit to using an adjustable monitor arm is the ability to change a monitor’s height, depth and sometimes even its angle. This customization allows a person to position their monitor in the exact spot it needs to be to prevent them from straining their neck and eyes while they use it over an extended period. Ideally, the monitor should be placed directly in the center field of vision, so the viewer does not need to look up or down to see their screen. This direct viewing angle prevents them from developing strain-related neck pain.
With monitor mounts, a person can easily switch their monitor from landscape to portrait mode. They can use additional monitors and adjust them in the same manner, using one in each mode or both in the same position. Many developers take great pride in their development “battle station,” which means they spend a lot of time customizing their desk space to fit their preferred style and function. Being able to use dual monitors side by side at various angles and in different image modes gives users the ultimate customizable viewing experience.
Keep Desks Organized
A cluttered desk is distracting and can reduce a person’s productivity or game performance. A monitor arm lifts the monitor off the desk, creating usable space underneath the screen. A minimalist person can leave this space empty to give their desk a crisp, modern style. On the other hand, this space can be used to store pictures, pens and other things generally found on one’s desk without cluttering the area where a person usually rests their hands.
An improperly placed monitor forces a person to slouch or hunch over at their desk, which can cause severe back pain and stiffness. Using a monitor arm allows a person to adjust the position of their monitor to promote proper posture. This also applies to those who use a sit/stand desk. The monitor can be positioned in the perfect spot to encourage a person to stand up straight while they are using their computer.
What to Know About Monitor Arms
With such a long list of benefits, a person may find themselves rushing to purchase a monitor arm as soon as possible. However, there are a few things to know before choosing one.
Before buying a monitor arm, a person should know whether their monitor is VESA compatible. VESA is a term used to classify the standard compatibility of monitors and wall brackets. Typically one will see this displayed as VESA 100 x 100, VESA 75 x 75 and so forth. The numbered portion after “VESA” indicates the distance between the mounting holes on the back of one’s monitor. Many monitor arms support multiple sizes, so be sure to check which one the monitor requires before purchasing.
Types of Monitor Arms
A monitor arm is an entire system that is used to support the monitor. The arm is mounted to a desk or wall and can be adjusted further from there. There are several types of monitor mounts, which are described in greater detail below.
Spring mounts are a high-end monitor arm option that boasts several key features. Spring mounts are incredibly mobile, with the ability to move in any direction. This allows a person to precisely position their monitor for optimal function and comfort. Spring mounts are generally much more expensive than the average monitor mount, but the versatility is well worth the price.
Wall mounts work with monitors in the same way that they work for a TV. Typically, a wall mount includes a tray where one can place their keyboard and mouse. These mounts are ideal for professional use, such as with doctors, warehouse personnel, or anyone else who requires their computer to easily transition from the center of the desk space to being stored against the wall.
Though less expensive than a spring mount, post mounts are still an excellent monitor arm. They are more static but still have the ability to adjust the height and horizontal orientation. Additionally, these mounts are incredibly sturdy, so there is no reason to be concerned about whether the monitor will become dislodged or fall.
Laptop mounts work like a standard monitor arm. However, rather than supporting just the monitor, they include hardware on which the entire laptop can be secured. These mounts even have options that allow a person to attach multiple laptops or a laptop with an additional monitor.
Rail mounts are frequently seen inside electronics stores like Best Buy, where there may be several TVs or monitors on display in a row. Rail mounts are built to support the weight of six or more monitors simultaneously and have a range of options for customization. Avid professional gamers with three or more monitors may find this useful, but they are otherwise not popular on a consumer level.
The Bottom Line
Monitor arms are an essential component of any quality desk setup. Whether it’s for work or gaming, monitor arms are capable of enhancing one’s focus, preventing strain-related neck and back injury, and giving one’s desk a professional aesthetic. With the number of monitor arm options available, anyone can tailor their desk space to their specifications for optimal comfort and efficiency.