Surely there's no need for a monitor arm with a height adjustable desk. After all the desk top moves up and down so why would you want to move the screen as well when the moving top takes care of it? Sounds daft doesn’t it? But before we dismiss it let’s just take a look at the role of a monitor arm, shall we.
What is a monitor arm?
A monitor arm is an articulated support which can be easily moved into an endless variety of positions. It simply attaches to your flat panel screen and your desktop. This transforms your screen from a static fixture on your desk into an interactive means of placing it exactly where you want it.
Although they have been around for many years modern monitor arms are a lot less cumbersome than earlier models. Old style monitors were heavy and bulky and needed substantial arms to hold them. With the advent of flat panel screens neither the bulk nor the weight issues apply.
This has also meant they are not nearly as costly as they used to be and so are becoming common on fixed desks. But what about on height adjustable desks?
What are benefits of a monitor arm?
It would be a mistake to think just because a height adjustable desk has a moving top that it means it’s not beneficial to use a screen support with one. In reality your screen is still static once you have adjusted the desk to the height you want to work at.
Just like a fixed desk you may well find your screen needs to be moved to get the optimum working position. Not only that, there will be occasions when you want your screen right out of the way to maybe study some plans or sort out paperwork. With an arm it’s really easy to push it out of the way and release valuable desk space as you need it.
So a monitor arm makes perfect sense on a height adjustable desk too. And it’s really easy to fit.
How do I attach the monitor arm to my height adjustable desk?
Most arms are designed to clamp to the rear of your desk. It will only take a couple of minutes to fit one. And if you find it’s not exactly where you want it slackening the clamp and moving it is very easy.
If your desk has an industry standard electrical outlet hole in it then many monitors arms can be fitted into it. Usually you just flick out the plastic liner and use the fixing kit that comes with the arm to fit it. So much for the desk fixing, what about attaching your screen to it?
How do I attach my screen to a monitor arm?
If you look on the back of your flat panel screen you will generally find it has 4 threaded fixing points built into it. These will either be on 75mm or 10mm centers and are often referred to as VESA fixings.
If you can’t see the fixings it’s likely that they are concealed so you may have to remove a plastic cover to reveal them. Once you find them just check which type they are and make sure the monitor arm you choose includes this type of fixing.
But just a moment. Are there any screens that won’t fit onto a monitor arm?
What type of screen might not be suitable for a monitor arm?
Where you have a very large screen it’s best to check the weight carrying capacity of the arm to make sure it can handle the load. It will normally be possible to find an arm to do the job so just make sure it is up to the task before you buy.
If you are an iMac user the smaller 21.5-inch model doesn't have the fixing points needed for a monitor arm. This is due to its built in stand which isn't removable.
There are conversion kits available; bear in mind though these attach to the stand so aren't as neat as the normal fixing method.
Let’s summarize the key points we've covered in this article
- A monitor arm offers a highly flexible way to move your screen’s position
- It makes good sense to use one on a height adjustable desk
- Fixing an arm to your desk and screen is usually very easy
- For very large screens check the weight and arm capacity first
- iMac users may need to use a conversion kit when using a monitor arm
Fitting a monitor arm to a height adjustable desk might sound a bit daft however in reality it makes perfectly good sense.
Here’s where you can find a selection of monitor arms that are ideal for use with a height adjustable desk.