Can you tell what’s wrong with the picture above? (Photo by Tiek Built Homes)
Answer: Like many homes in the Atlanta area, the TV is mounted too high!
A TV mounted high on the wall like this will keep you staring upward for long periods of time. And that strains your body, leading to neck and back pain as well as headaches, according to at least one physical therapist.
So then, how high on the wall should your TV be placed?
The most ergonomic height for your TV is one where:
So, the correct height for the TV in your home will vary depending on your height, seat height, distance from TV and reclining angle.
For example, assuming an average seat height of 16 inches, the center of your TV would be placed 37 to 48 inches off the ground.
Diagram showing TV height placement. Image source: Ergonut
This is based on the fact that most of the adult population is between 4’11” and 6’4” and that we tend to slouch about 4 inches when sitting to watch TV.
Of course, this can change if you tend to recline when watching TV. Since a recliner angles your head upward, you’ll want to place the TV higher on the wall. But the concept is the same: place the center of the TV in the center of your line of site.
TV mounting height diagram and formula adjusted for reclining. Image source: NextDayTechs
Make sure you also angle the TV so that it’s perpendicular to your line of site. (You’ll need a tilting TV wall mount to do that.)
If the TV is a room with stadium seating (like in a home theater), finding the right height is more difficult. You have a different “optimal” TV height for each row of seats.
Our usual recommendation? Place your TV in the 2nd row of seats.
Basically, you want to place the TV as low as possible without the front row obscuring the screen at all.
Diagram of home theater seating and TV viewing angle. Image source