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I am fortunate that my employer provides a triple monitor setup. However, I'm wondering if the greater degree of head turning and the closeness of the monitors is leading to some postural pain.

Is there any advice or guidelines, specifically for triple monitors which might be of use?

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closed as off topic by Thomas Owens, MainMa, Yannis Rizos, World Engineer, psr Jan 31 '12 at 23:39

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What size are the monitors? How you deploy 3 32" HD monitors would be different than how you would setup 3 19" square monitors. –  jfrankcarr Jan 31 '12 at 22:55
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[This image][1] seems to display a good setup (simular to what they had in the Avatar movie), although there the side screens are not as wide. [1]: maclife.com/files/u32/1202_tribook_text2_1000.jpg –  Danny Varod Jan 31 '12 at 23:51
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[This image][2] looks like what I had in mind, however, the angles between the screens may be too near 180 degrees. [2]: improbableinsights.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/… –  Danny Varod Jan 31 '12 at 23:52
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[This image][3] looks like it has better angles, however, since all three screens are horizontal, the total viewing angle is too wide. [3]: desktopped.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/matrix-2.jpg –  Danny Varod Jan 31 '12 at 23:52
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I feel like closing this as off-topic is being a little overly pedantic. Sure, maybe a graphic designer or day trader might have the same question (not exclusive to software development) - but setting up an ergonomic workspace is quite important in the realm of software development. It's an answerable question, and it's applicable to all programmers but not all careers. –  qes Feb 1 '12 at 0:31

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm not a Dr. but 3 monitors is the best, i use 3 25's and keep them horizontally next to each other somewhat surrounding me as close to "mid-point" eye level as possible.. a friend of mine used the middle monitor for coding and set it up sideways..

that way you can get the browser in one, the code in another, and the DB in the other.. AND still be able to check / answer questions on stack without closing any windows!!

Seriously though, here's what OSHA has to say on the subject

updated link for monitor specific suggestions

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/components_monitors.html#Viewing%20Distance

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I don't think their is a "best way" to set up a development environment. This question can only be answered by the developer. What ever makes you more comfortable and productive.

We have all the 24' monitors a company can throw at you to make you more productive but yet our best Senior Developer chooses to use his laptop screen at his desk!

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the old "thinking does not require a monitor" argument –  hanzolo Jan 31 '12 at 23:39

Any big monitor that's too close will be a problem, set up just one monitor properly and improvise outwards with the other two. I use two monitors with one being vertical for coding and the second horizontal for info/manuals/web display and longer processes; my point being that I have one "main" monitor where I do "work" and the other supports that work with less often referenced info.

How do other people in the office use their triple monitor setups? Combine their knowledge with how do you work, what do you spend 80% of your time doing and move them around during a day of work.

Heck, adjust your monitors from week to week - you don't always sit 100% the same way in your chair, you shift around.

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I think you need to find that happy medium of distance vs amount of heading turning needed. One way I've solved this is by turning one monitor vertical as it usually only shows web pages anyways.

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I have three set up in an arc. This puts them beyond the usual viewing distance but I have a pair of glasses specifically cut for the range they are at. I find this works well.

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