How far should you sit back from a monitor?

Joined
May 14, 2008
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Is there a chart or guidelines as to how far back you should sit back from a monitor? For example, I have a 22" LCD monitor and I am sitting about 14-18 inches away from it.

Thanks.
 

switchg3ar

Limp Gawd
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Jan 1, 2007
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I like this question. Your sitting distance sound about right. My sitting distance is based on what I feel is comfortable. For a 20 inch monitor I sit about 16-18 inches away. For a 30 inch screen I sit about 29 inches away. It's hard to judge because the text at 1680x1050 on the 20 inch monitor has a similar pixel density as a 30 inch with 2560x1600.

I often wondered the same question as you.
 
Joined
May 14, 2008
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See page 14 of "Product manual"

Thanks.

It said: No closer than 40 cm (15.7 inches) and no farther than 70 cm (27.5 inches). Optimal 50 cm (19.6 inches).

And that is for a 26" monitor. So I imagine it would be little bit different for a 22" monitor. It looks like I am in the ballpark.
 

Sniviler

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Mar 23, 2004
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How far should you sit back from a monitor? Depends on the size of the boobs and how old you are :)
 

albovin

[H]ard|Gawd
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Thanks.

It said: No closer than 40 cm (15.7 inches) and no farther than 70 cm (27.5 inches). Optimal 50 cm (19.6 inches).

And that is for a 26" monitor. So I imagine it would be little bit different for a 22" monitor. It looks like I am in the ballpark.

Another point is that the top of the monitor should be level with your eyes.
 

Swarley

n00b
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Jun 30, 2007
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Another point is that the top of the monitor should be level with your eyes.

That sounds wrong to me, I remember reading that you want your eyes level with the center of the monitor. Why do you say it should be with the top of the monitor?
 

10e

2[H]4U
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Excellent article.

It does say if the monitor is bigger than 20" you can sit a bit further than the arms length distance.

I remember this site years ago when I was paranoid of getting carpal tunnel. It looks like it hasn't been updated for a decade :)

10e

http://www.healthycomputing.com/office/setup/monitor/

Arms length away or slighter further and eyes aligned with the top or slightly below the top for larger displays.
 

oozish

[H]ard|Gawd
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I've got mine just past arms length; I think my eyes line up just under the top portion of the monitor (the screen not the frame).
 

Tarc

Weaksauce
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Jan 26, 2007
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I've tried several scenarios but what comes back to be more natural is about my arm's length, on a 21" 4:3.
 

damonposey

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some peoples arms are longer than others. I'd say it depends on the resolution you're running.

My personal rule is sitting close enough to notice the resolution I'm running. And I do the same with my 46" 1080p samsung display. If I'm running 1080p content I'll actually sit closer so I can notice the detail. otherwise 720p and 1080p content looks the same.
 

switchg3ar

Limp Gawd
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From what I have seen a standard 20 inch monitor at 1680x1050 with windows standard text size is equivalent to 9 to 10 font size on paper. It's clear if I sit 15-18 inches away but if I sit 3 feet away it's a lot harder to read easily. Now do you sit back and stress your eyes or do you sit closer to it?

Now if you compare a 30 inch screen which has similar pixel density, would you sit just as close as you did with the 20 inch or would you sit back. Keeping in mind that the text is similar in size when both screens are running in their native resolution.
 

djlenoir

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That was an interesting article. I am sure there is some science behind the recommendations to position the top of your screen level with your eyes, but I have pretty much always used the exact center (or as close as possible) of the monitor positioned at eye level. I will give this recommendation a try to see if it feels more comfortable or reduces eye strain. One thought that crossed my mind as I read this recommendation though is that it must have been written before TN panels became the norm as positioning the top of a larger TN panel at eye level would accentuate one of the biggest drawbacks of the technology (the bottom would look darker and discolored). Still, worth a try.
 

Tarc

Weaksauce
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I've tried several scenarios but what comes back to be more natural is about my arm's length, on a 21" 4:3.

I forgot to mention that much of my reading is done at 1024x768, when I do some heavy graphic work I switch to 1600x1200. (a little executable file switches between resolutions.)
 

damonposey

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Now if you compare a 30 inch screen which has similar pixel density, would you sit just as close as you did with the 20 inch or would you sit back. Keeping in mind that the text is similar in size when both screens are running in their native resolution.

thats the whole problem I see with 30 inchers running 2560x1600. there's just no sweet spot for viewing them. if you're sitting close enough to distinguish individual pixels, then you're eyes will have to work harder to see the extremities of the screen. Too far back, and you won't be able to distinguish the pixels.

for multi-tasking 2560x1600 makes sense, but for concentrating on one image, I think 2560x1600 is just illogical, our eyes cannot notice all those pixels at the same time. thats not to say a 30 incher sporting 2560x1600 isn't impressive, it's just not fully realized by our eyes.
 

switchg3ar

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thats the whole problem I see with 30 inchers running 2560x1600. there's just no sweet spot for viewing them. if you're sitting close enough to distinguish individual pixels, then you're eyes will have to work harder to see the extremities of the screen. Too far back, and you won't be able to distinguish the pixels.

for multi-tasking 2560x1600 makes sense, but for concentrating on one image, I think 2560x1600 is just illogical, our eyes cannot notice all those pixels at the same time. thats not to say a 30 incher sporting 2560x1600 isn't impressive, it's just not fully realized by our eyes.

That's exactly how I feel. If I sit right in I feel like my eyes are going to burn on the 30 inch.
 

Ankle

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Would be non-issue if there was a resolution independent OS with a vector based UI to scale over any DPI. Shame Apple dropped the feature from Leopard, otherwise I might pick up a 30".
 
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