Height Adjustable Monitors

Decades ago I used to sit like a turtle when using my computer. The monitor used to be very low on the desk, and my back and neck would adjust for that. Over the years I acquired a much better posture, and I eventually bought monitors with adjustable stands. They sound amazing, and I cannot take any monitor without one serious anymore.

There is a catch, though: Their maximum height is severely limted. The Dell P2314H that I have offers only a limited range of adjustment. Neither the manufacturer nor various online resellers state the exact range. At the highest position, the center of the VESA mount is only 33 cm above the desk. As I usually work with command line windows and enter stuff at the bottom of the screen, I like to have the screen center slightly below eye level. Most ergonomics guides recommend having the top of the screen at eye level.

So I started to put books under it. And it really gave it this college student look.

Eventually I looked into monitor arms and saw premium ones for like 250 EUR. I just didn't want to spend more on the arms than the monitor itself, so I passed. Last year I looked into arms again and found some more affordable models and setteled for a dual arm model for 60 EUR. On the product page it said 40 cm which sounded good at first.

When setting it up, I had the feeling that it wasn't quite right even after setting it to the maximum height. I sat at the desk for a couple of days and got neck pain. So I put a book under the arm fixture, which made it completely pointless. And I still had neck pain. I realized that I wanted to have even more height, so I went to books. But three books this time.

And only then I started to really measure the height. The Dell stand has 33 cm from desk to center. The cheap arms have 42 cm. And my current contraption with the books has 50 cm. But what does one actually need? From my eyes to the desk I measure between 50 and 60 cm, depending on my posture. Yes, I am a bit taller than the average person, but how the heck did Dell think that 33 cm would be a good idea?

Basically, virtually all manufacturer supplied monitor stands are too low. The height adjustable ones are even worse, they appear to be ergonomic but aren't. As long as people like me buying 33 cm stands, the manufacturers will keep selling them. But I surely won't buy another monitor with such a dwarf stand!

So if you have chronic neck pain, perhaps see whether your monitor height still matches your posture.