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Ergonomic Computing
Written by Daniel ~   
Tuesday, 19 June 2007 12:50

This article is a continuation of Ergonomics, a way of life that's sustainable.

Part II

One of the most important aspects of gaining a proper posture and maintaining one is having the monitor in the correct position and height.  Given the veriety of desk heights and monitor sizes, this can be a journey of a life time!  While most of us fit reasonably well within the standards for such things, many of us do not.

The difference between a 4'10'' woman and a 6'6'' male is a challenge to accommodate in a "one size fits all" approach. But most of us will be able to find our fit within the norm. As I was able to see whilst searching for my monitor arm, the standard design is becoming much more accommodating in recent years. Much of that improvement, brought about by research in a hundred different Universities around the world. That research is rapidly making it into desktop and surrounds.

I recently bought a  22 inch wide screen monitor.  Given that there were several that truly competed for my dollar on a verity of points and price, I have no experience of any other than the one I bought, I will simply say that I bought the 22" Samsung SyncMaster 266BW For those who don't quite have a grip on Wide screen yet; It's the same hight as a 19" TFT and about 4 inches wider, not a huge monitor.

I like everything about it! While some did disparage the stand it came with as it lacked a hight adjustment, I found the tilt and rotational aspect quite functional and attractive.

But, I also found the monitor arm for me! ":O}

Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm

(Animation stolen from

This puppy picks up my 22 inch 10 lb monitor, and waves it about with an ease that delights! It stops when and where I stop and just hangs there effortlessly, until the end of time, or at least my time at my desk. ":O}

Here's my pop ass opinion. No one position held for very long is very good for us. We can tolerate any number of uncomfortable positions as long as they keep changing. It's the static position maintained over time that does us injury. If we adopt one or two "not all that uncomfortable" positions, time will start to bend us into those positions... sometimes painfully, sometimes for life.

It then follows that any number of comfortable positions, changed often, allows our bodies their best chance to naturally expand and contract our limbs and maintain over all circulation as well as skeletal alignments.  Standing up and walking around the room, once every hour or so, will work wonders.

Enter the Ergotron LX!

The Ergotron requires a very sturdy mounting setup. It can be ordered with either wall mount or desk mount fittings. Now, because I have a huge ungainly desk whose virtues end with space and sturdiness, I went with the desk mount version. This comes in three main pieces. The mounting pole, the extension arm, riser/flexeor, and rotator arm which the LCD case fixes to.  My monitor has a dedictated VESA 100mm backing plate, but the Ergotron LX comes with a plate for VESA 75mm bolt holes, as well.

This thing works! Complete set-up takes less than an hour, and is simplicity itself.  So, what did I get for my money? Mobility! I can maintain dozens of positions.  I no longer seat myself before my monitor.  Now I seat myself and then put the monitor where ever seems good at the moment! Ergotron is so solid, so well built that I cannot conceive of being able to damage it under any reasonable operation. Those arms are solid aluminum and they're chunky!

After following the simple instructions, and evening the load so that the monitor rises and lowers with the same resistance; even with 10 pounds dangling at the 24" full extension, the arms move smoothly, requiring only that you angle your push so that the arm you wish to move is the one that pivots.  There's a bit of a knack to it but I picked it up in a day. ":O}

So, I have a good chair, a great extension arm and a crummy desk. I acquired the chair and arm, so I could reasonably keep my monster desk and still have a hope of a fairly healthy situation. Not many situations in life are perfect, but we need to meet most of our bodies requirements if we wish our bodies to leave us alone while we try to work.

I will leave you with a couple of photos, showing my Ergotron in action.

Please, feel free to talk about this subject in the forum.




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