Someone recently presented to my office with bifocals, an office ergonomic issue, neck and back pain, and headaches, which required me to adapt my standard ergonomic advice. With bifocals, the height of the top of the monitor will likely be around the bottom of your nose instead of your eyes.
This change, with variations for the uniqueness of the individual, will allow for differences in prescription, type of bifocal, and lens size.

First, I have recently observed a trend in computer monitor stands to be higher at the back than the front, creating a downward tilt of the monitor. At both my home and office workstations I have countered this with small wedges under the front of the monitor stand.
At one location I have used coasters under the front of the stand and the other a half-pad of Post-It-Notes is working great while I am looking for my permanent solution. This is important because the angle changes the effective height of the top of the monitor and it also changes the comfort of the individual looking at the monitor. Therefore, adjust the stand tilt before/while adjusting the height.

Specifically for computer monitors and bifocals, before setting the monitor height vertically, address the monitor tilt by raising the front of the monitor stand beyond level so the top of the monitor tips slightly away from you. In the instance that I did recently, I doubled the wedge that it took to bring the stand to level/the monitor to vertical. After this I lowered the monitor just over an inch to make the top of the monitor line up with where she actually sees when looking straight ahead. We tried a few variations of these options and this final position meant that she didn’t have to tilt her head back and lean forward to read the screen.

Perhaps the easiest way to figure it out is to start sitting with good posture and the top of the monitor at eye level, tilt the monitor back just past vertical, and then incrementally lower the monitor until you can read it comfortably without tipping your head.

The benefits of this are great! Reduced upper neck pain, lower neck pain, upper back pain, and headaches are all common.

Don’t forget to check out my other posts DIY Seated Office Ergonomics and DIY Stand up Workstation Ergonomics for further help with making your workstation better. As always, if you need customised setup help or just help with what you are experiencing as a result of your office setup, please contact me.

Happy reading!

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