'This is what neck pain would look like if it were a setup' [Setups] | Cult of Mac

‘This is what neck pain would look like if it were a setup’ [Setups]

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In terms of proper ergonomics, the
In terms of proper ergonomics, the "before" photo set off some alarm bells.
Photo: cmcmanus96@Reddit.com

If your computer setup had three screens, including a MacBook Pro, an iPad and a 32-inch external monitor, would you make the iPad the center screen? Would you put your screened devices on stands, or leave them at or near table level? Today’s setup saw a transition that might actually save its owner from years of physical therapy.

“This is what neck pain would look like if it were a setup,” someone said about the “before” photo, above.

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Less neck pain: It takes a village

Redditor cmcmanus96 (Manus) displayed his setup in transition in a post entitled, “Finally have a setup I’m happy with! Finding the iPad Pro with Sidecar to be a nice extra display for my terminal!”

Right away the comments from concerned Redditors started in on the workstation’s ergonomic properties, including the quote above about neck pain. And the question, “Why don’t you put your monitor in the center of the desk?” And the flat-out statement, “You need the main screen in the middle for ergonomics.”

Manus got right on it, ergonomically speaking, and made some adjustments.

Proper elevation and reordered screens

In the second photo, you can see he mounted some items on stacks of books — in lieu of “proper risers” coming in the future — and reordered the screens. The big external display, a 32-inch 1440p monitor, was still on the right for some unstated reason, but now the brilliant 16-inch MacBook Pro display sat at center, and more elevated.

“Any thoughts?” he asked. “Using books to prop things up for now until I can get proper risers. I also don’t like my wires being as gnarly as they are, but I’m not sure what I could do about that.”

He was on the right track.

In the "after" photo, you see books used to elevate devices and a new screen configuration.
In the “after” photo, you see books used to elevate devices and a new screen configuration.
Photo: cmcmanus96@Reddit.com

“I think this makes way more sense and as you age your neck will thank you!” came one reply. “Always have the screen you’re going to stare at the most in the position where your neck remains the most neutral. I totally get why you would choose the 16-inch MacBook as your ‘primary’ display over the external monitor, it’s suuuuch a nice display.”

Other commenters agreed, noting how much healthier the new configuration would likely be.

“Good job!” one said. “Looks much better than it was and as a previous comment said, you neck will seriously thank you, since I’m a programmer as well I would really recommend looking into neck and back exercises so you don’t have to waste 70€ a week for therapy like me at 20 years old, they really go a long way.”

Cable management

Another person also approved of the setup in the “after” photo and made a recommendation regarding cable management. They keep things tidy by using an OWC Thunderbolt Dock, which provides 10 ports to connect devices and 96W of power for charging the MacBook Pro.

“As far as the cables … maybe look into a dock. I have this one and everything plugs into so I have a single cable going to the MBP. At my desk there is no chance for the power cable to get pulled on so I don’t need to use the MagSafe cable. Recommended.”

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.