Why you should use a monitor arm for better productivity and posture

Chromebox Desktop
Chromebox Desktop (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

We're a diverse group here at Android Central, but we all have one thing in common that's a big part of our lives: we work from home, putting in long days in front of a computer screen. We're always trying new things to be more productive and make work easier, but one very simple thing can have a huge impact on both your productivity and your health — putting your monitors up off of your desk.

Monitor arms have a lot of benefits to anyone who works at a desk as well as people who spend a lot of time doing anything at a computer. Things like gaming or just surfing the web are all better when you're more organized and not craning your neck to see what's on your screen. With Black Friday being the best time to buy a computer monitor, it's also the best time to get a mounting arm to put it in the right place!

The biggest benefit of using a monitor arm is the ability to change the height, depth, and angle of your display. This allows you to put your screen in the right place to prevent you from straining your neck and your eyes whenever you're at your desk for an extended period of time. A monitor arm will put your screen or screens directly in the center of your field of vision so you're not constantly looking up or down. This helps a lot in preventing strain-related pain in your neck and back and keeps your eyes where they need to be.

Ara Standing Desk From Ikea

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Because things are where they should be, your posture is improved, too. When your display is too high or too low you might slouch in your chair or sit too far forward. A good computer chair is designed to support your back and promote good posture, but sitting in it incorrectly does neither, and actually can cause more issues in your shoulders or lower back.

Monitor arms are almost a must for any standing desk setup.

If you use a standing desk, this is even more important. You need the desk surface in the right spot for typing and using a mouse, but usually, that's too low for your monitor and you end up looking down all day long. When you put your displays up on a good monitor arm, you can get them at the right height.

Another big bonus is the extra desktop real estate. Most monitors come with a sizable stand designed to keep them from tipping forward or back. That means a lot of the back of your desk is taken up by them and everything else you need or want is pushed forwards.

With a monitor arm that mounts to your desktop or to the wall, you can reclaim that space. Maybe you want to keep it free and go for the minimal and clutter-free look. Or maybe you need a place for pencils or your phone, or even something like a PlayStation 5. Either way, once you get your monitor's feet off the desk the room is there for you to do whatever you like.

Vesa Mount

Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

You'll need to do a small bit of investigating before you dive in and buy a monitor stand. There are several different kinds that can mount through your desk, attach to the back of your desk using a C clamp, or hang from your wall or even the ceiling. But every type connects to the monitor the same way, using the VESA system.

That's a universal setup the monitor makers use to ensure their gear is mountable and you'll see things like VESA 100 x 100 or VESA 75 x75 as a feature of a monitor. That's the hole pattern size and 100 x 100 means 100 mm by 100 mm. On the back of your monitor, you see four holes arranged in a square if it's VESA compatible. These holes are where the mounting brackets attach.

Putting your monitor on a mounting arm is easy.

Once the plate is attached and you have the arm(s) mounted, you hang the monitor onto the arm through brackets or slides on the plate. A monitor arm will advertise what size VESA mount it uses and you'll need to compare that with the size of the hole patterns on your display.

Once you get everything set up, you'll love being able to position your screen — or screens, multiple monitors are great when mounted on a good arm — just the way you like them. You can even turn most monitors vertically if portrait mode works best for you.

Whether you work at a PC desktop or a Chromebox all day, play games all night, or just have a desk you set your laptop on and attach an external display, you'll be more productive, have more fun, and have a happier body when you use a good monitor arm.

Single Monitor Arm

Amazon Basics Single Computer Monitor Stand

This simple but sturdy monitor arm works with desks up to 3.9-inches thick and has both VESA 100 x 100 and 75 x 75 mounting options. It's also height-adjustable and keeps your cords out of the way.

Double Monitor Arm

Mount-IT! Dual Monitor Mount

The perfect way to move two monitors off of your desk! This arm supports two monitors up to 27-inches and 22-pounds each and supports both 100 x 100 and 75 x 75 VESA mounting brackets. It fully articulates in any direction and is height adjustable.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.