A field evaluation of monitor placement effects in VDT users

Appl Ergon. 2001 Aug;32(4):313-25. doi: 10.1016/s0003-6870(01)00014-x.


Appropriate visual display terminal (VDT) location is a subject of ongoing debate. Generally, visual strain is associated with higher placement, and musculoskeletal strain is associated with lower placement. Seeking resolution of the debate, this paper provides a comparison of results from previous lab-based monitor placement studies to recommendations and outcomes from viewing preference and neutral posture studies. The paper then presents results from a field study that addressed two outstanding issues: Does monitor placement in a workplace elicit postures and discomfort responses similar to those seen in laboratory settings? Results showed placements in the workplace elicited postures similar to those in lab studies. Additionally, preferred VDT location generally corresponded to the location in which less neck discomfort was reported, though that trend requires further investigation. Overall, there seems to be consistent evidence to support mid-level or somewhat higher placement, as a rule-of-thumb, considering preferred gaze angle and musculoskeletal concerns. However, optimal placement may be lower for some individuals or tasks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Computer Terminals*
  • Ergometry
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Facility Design and Construction
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Videotape Recording