The best ergonomic position for dual monitors

The best ergonomic setup for dual monitors

Have you ever thought about what monitor size is best? Do you ever experience neck, eye, or shoulder strain from hours spent at your monitor.  

If you’re a video editor, photographer, or audio engineer/musician you probably use a dual monitor setup for your office.

So what’s the best dual monitor placement for ergonomics?

Dual monitors should always be set up with the main monitor positioned directly in front of the user.  If an equal amount of time is used with both monitors, center both monitors in front of the user.

In this article, I explain everything you need to know to have the best ergonomic setup for dual monitors. 

Neck problems from poorly placed monitors

According to, “a display screen that is too high or low will cause you to work with your head, neck, shoulders, and even your back in awkward postures. When the monitor is too high, for example, you have to work with your head and neck tilted back. Working in these awkward postures for a prolonged period fatigues the muscles that support the head.”

The same goes for dual monitors.  If the display is angled and the neck is always turned to one side, this awkward posture for prolonged periods can cause pain, weakness, and muscle fatigue. 

Dual Monitor placement

Dual monitor angle

Dual monitors should always be placed based on the amount of time used for each monitor.

  • If using both monitors equally, place both displays in front of the user at a 15 degree angle (See above)
  • If the second monitor is used occasionally, place the primary monitor directly in front of the user.  The second monitor should be angled 30 degrees to the dominant eye.
  • Most monitors should be 20-36″ away from your eyes (arms length), but it depends on the screen size and number of monitors

Visual fields and monitor placement

Monitor placement is best decided based on our visual fields.  The human eye can almost see 180 degrees in all planes, but the area that is the most important (sharpest), is the 30 degrees of our central vision

If you’re using dual monitors, the optimal placement is in the area of your central vision.  The further you are away from the screen, the greater your field of view. See images below. 

Dual monitor setup

If you have 2 large monitors, scoot back to increase your field of view.

Dual monitor placement

The larger the monitor, the larger the distance between you and the display.

Why single Monitors are better than Dual Monitors

To reduce neck strain, one monitor is almost always better than two. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Less distance between user and display
  • Better viewing angles
  • Reduced neck strain

Are two monitors better than three?

In most cases, dual monitors are better ergonomically, but a triple monitor setup may can be helpful for those who need the efficiency and want the primary display in the center.

The best screen size for dual monitors

This is a hard questions to answer, because every one has different needs when it comes to screen size. In general, I recommended staying between 24-27″ for dual monitors.

If you decide you need something larger, for example, 32″ or larger, I recommend using a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You should also have a desk depth of at least 28″ to increase distance between your monitor and your eyes. For dual monitors, I recommend this 63×30″ one here.

The key here is to avoid as much neck movement as possible by keeping your eyes in the best position for the best angle of view.

The best monitor height

If your monitors are at the wrong height, consider buying this adjustable monitor stand. Here are a few things to consider regarding monitor height.  

  • Top line of screen is at or below eye level
  • Monitors should be at least 20 inches away from the user
  • Elevate your line of sight by raising your chair
  • Be sure that you have adequate space for your thighs under the desk and that your feet are supported

If your monitor is too high, elevate your line of sight by raising your chair. Be sure that you legs remain at a 90 degree angle and are supported.

The most important consideration for monitor height is it’s position to the eye.  The eye should always be level with the top bar or line of the screen.  If the screen is too far away, the user may lean forward and cause back and neck strain. 

What to avoid

  • Leaning over to look at the screen
  • Fixed monitors stands (Riser)
  • Using a laptop or tablet as primary monitor


My recommended monitor mount

The best monitor mount for dual monitors is the Ergotron dual monitor arm, but if you need something that can hold more than 27″ go with the Erger dual monitor mount.

Ergotron dual monitor arm

The best ergonomic chair

If you sit most of the day, investing in a good chair can make all the difference. You don’t need the most expensive, but you want a chair that is highly adjustable. Herman Miller has some great options, but I prefer Steelcase. All Steelcase chairs are great, but I prefer the Gesture. If you need a budget option check out the Steelcase series 1.

Steelcase gesture pros and cons

Recommended dual monitor desk setup

Anyone spending most of their time at a computer, should invest in a height adjustable desk.

For 24″ and 27″ dual monitors, most users will need a desk that is 55″ wide and 24″ deep. In the case of dual monitors, larger is better.

For 32″ monitors or larger, you’ll need a desk that will provide adequate width and depth. For example, the apple XDR display is 28.3″ wide. That means you’ll need a desk at least 60″ wide.

I recommend this height adjustable one for both single and dual 32″ displays. At 63″, it’s wide enough for dual 32″ displays and has a depth of 30″ for adequate viewing distances. It will also work great for 24-27″ dual display setups.

How to reduce eye strain?

Here are a few tips to reduce eye strain.

Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at an object 20 feet away. 

  • Keep the monitor screen clean from dust or fingerprints
  • Keep monitors perpendicular to outdoor windows

Avoid placing your monitor in front of an outdoor window. The glare from the sun will increase strain on your eyes. The opposite is also true. Having your monitor facing the window will increase screen reflection.


Dual Monitor Recommendations

Choosing the best monitor is a personal choice. For apple computers, I tend to prefer the crisp text and sharpness of the 5k 27″ studio display or the 24″ LG ultrafine.

For PC users, go with the 27″ Dell ultra sharp U2720Q.

Budget option

This monitor listed below would be my second pick.


  • If using both monitors equally, place both displays in front of the user at a 15 degree angle
  • If the second monitor is used occasionally, place the primary monitor directly in front of the user.  The second monitor should be angled 30 degrees to the dominant eye
  • Most monitors should be 20-36″ away from your eyes
  • Consider monitor viewing angles to determine sitting distance
  • Top line of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level
  • Reduce eye strain with the 20-20-20 rule
  • Clean your screen frequently

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’d like to learn how you can improve your home office ergonomics, check out my course here.

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