Setting up the iMac correctly - or: ergonomics in the workplace

What's the best way to put an iMac on your desk? Which keyboard and which mouse are recommended? And how are they to be used? In short: How can you set up your (private) desk ergonomically so that work on the screen becomes the least possible burden on the body? I have found the right answers to these questions - also and above all because a reader recently wrote to me and asked: "I am looking for information on how a 21,5 inch iMac should stand on the desk. What distance - what height - can it be at an angle or does it have to be straight in front of my eyes? Can you help me with information?“- Here I am trying to do this in detail.

How should the iMac stand on the desk? And what does an ergonomic computer workstation look like? Here are the answers to your questions!
How should the iMac stand on the desk? And what does an ergonomic computer workstation look like? Here are the answers to your questions!

Setting up the iMac correctly - a very individual matter

The iMac has to be set up depending on how high the desk is, what type of seating furniture you are using and what other general conditions exist. If we assume a computer workstation that is already geared towards a minimum of ergonomics, then we have a decent desk and an office chair with adjustable height (and usually five castors) in front of us. In addition to this chair, the height of the table can also be ideally adjusted ...

Posture when working with a screen: the magical 90 degrees

First of all, the workplace itself has to be adjusted so that one is sitting “correctly”. This means that you can sit straight at the desk with your back against the armrest of the chair. The arms should be able to describe a 90 ° angle (bending of the forearms from the upper arms when sitting upright and parallel guidance of the upper arms to the torso). Ideally, your forearms do not rest on the tabletop - the keyboard should be close to your body. This prevents a hunched back when writing, as you can maintain the arm position in a straight sitting position and not bend over the table.

The angle of the knees at 90 ° is often described as ideal. However, there are also instructions and diagrams that show a footrest that angles the feet by 5 ° to 15 °. With this increase, the angle of the knees is also expanded. It is probably best here to use both options and to move your legs and feet into other positions whenever you work for a long time. Here you can go to that without hesitation Huanuo footrest grab, which also makes friends barefoot thanks to the upholstery. Those who tend to work with shoes should get them wipeable support from AmazonBasics look at.

In addition, if you think about it, you should get up at least every 60 minutes anyway and move a little so that you don't rust;)

Align iMac or monitor: top edge = line of sight?

So now we have clarified the basic attitude - if you reproduce and try it out, you will immediately notice that it is a good starting position to write, surf and do other work for longer without physical damage. Once you have considered all the angles and orientations, it is now time to align the iMac, the PC monitor or any other screen to be used. In most cases, it is recommended that the upper edge of the screen be at eye level when looking straight and in an upright position.

Source: WikiMedia
Source: WikiMedia

Chart source: WikiMedia

So in order to be able to see the entire screen, the view should wander slightly downwards. This can also be done with a slight tilt of the head, but not in such a way that a hunched back is created. That is why I am not convinced by other diagrams that locate the monitor below and at an angle. Since you are constantly looking down here, the risk of giving up your straight posture is greater in the long run. What do you all mean? Feel free to leave your experiences as a comment!

If necessary, place something under the iMac / monitor

The iMac with a 21,5-inch display is unlikely to be big enough to set up as described - at least not for everyone. Various attractive and practical substructures for the iMac as well as for other displays, monitors and so on can be found here, among others. There are also height-adjustable screen stands - here is a selection. Another tip for them Use of multiple screens: do not arrange as a straight front, but in a semicircle. This enables the best overview.

Shape and hardness: the best for hands, joints and arms

When using the keyboard and mouse, angles are again important, as are other factors. Because if the keyboard is close to the body, for example, it tends to be close to the edge of the table. If the forearms lie there (for a long time), this can damage the blood circulation as well as the tendons and nerves. In addition, the wrists should not be angled when using the mouse and keyboard. That too is harmful. For both problems there are pads that support the wrists when using the keyboard and mouse - here in different versions.

Are to be recommended - especially for people who really viel work on the computer - ergonomic input devices. You can find ergonomic mice, for example, in the form of the Logitech MX Vertical. But from experience I can also do that CSL TM137G recommend. In connection with a mouse pad with wrist pad, a really nice thing! As a mouse pad, I would use the Icetek mouse pad because the wrist support is made of memory foam and the foam is really soft.

Ergonomic keyboards with a curved keypad and wrist rest are also available in various designs. The right choice of input devices is, in my opinion, also important when we talk about the orientation of the Apple iMac or any other display.

Summary and references

If you want to know how to set up and align your Apple iMac correctly, then you have to look at the entire workspace. Because you can bring the screen to the right height (upper edge = eye level when standing upright), but that does not make a healthy place for screen work. The ergonomics at the desk result from the interaction of all components. What I have left out in this guide are: lighting, ventilation, movement, noise avoidance, cable routing, etc. For this I would like to give you the following publications:

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2 Responses to "Setting up the iMac correctly - or: Ergonomics at the workplace"

    1. Hello Norbert! When working on the laptop - at least when it comes to a permanent workplace - I can only recommend an external monitor, a monitor stand and an external keyboard and mouse. I work on the MacBook Pro and only use the internal keyboard and touchpad when I'm on the go. Unfortunately, I find prolonged "looking down" at the display a bit tiring for the neck muscles. That's why I use an external display.

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