A laptop is a small-sized computer. It is a portable (PC) personal computer with an alphanumeric keyboard and a screen. They typically possess a clamshell-type factor with the screen fixed inside an upper lid and the keyboard set inside a lower lid.
The 2-in-1 laptops with a removable keyboard are also marketed to people.
Laptops are easily closed up for movement, thus making them appropriate for mobile usage.
Its name was derived from the word “lap.” This is because you can conveniently use it on your laps.
Acquiring a new laptop is very exciting. It ensures a much more seamless user experience with great speed, more memory, and higher battery life.
But it can all go sideways if you don’t take certain preventive actions before using your new machine.
An Overview of Ergonomy and Laptop Use
To properly comprehend the ergonomic problems with laptops, we first must understand what ergonomy is and how it works.
Workplace ergonomy is the science of work conditions that have been improved and job demands alongside the abilities of the working population.
When the job demands are hard to be met, especially by the people doing the job, they are at a high risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder. Common to ergonomics, the basic risk factors can come in high force requirements, bad postures that may lead to uncomfortable body pain thus requiring you to consult a workspace physiotherapy specialist to avoid further issues.
This is what brings us to the issue with laptops.
The laptop design compels users into exhibiting poor neck, head, hand, and wrist posture.
In the early days, according to Cornell University Ergonomics Web, during the early years of computing, the screen and keyboard were both a single unit, which led to severe discomfort complaints in the musculoskeletal system.
Ergonomic guidelines that advocated separating the screen and keyboard into optimal positions were brought up. But laptop designs have been unable to meet these guidelines; therefore, they’re excluded from the current design.
Ergonomic Tips for A Laptop Setup
We know laptops aren’t leaving the scene anytime soon. So, we must know how to reduce the chance of musculoskeletal discomfort when we make use of them.
Therefore, here are a few tips to help your laptop set up in an optimal position :
The set-up guidelines are separated into two for frequent and occasional use.
- Laptop Ergonomics guidelines for Frequent Users
Utilizing external devices is highly recommended if using your laptop as your primary device.
Using external monitors, keyboards, and mouse will contribute to setting up a workstation that follows proper ergonomic design guidelines.
- Laptop ergonomics guidelines for occasional users
1. Ensure you have chairs that support upright or slightly reclined positions that are comfortable.
2. Put your laptop in a position for the most balanced wrist posture that you can. If you possess a bigger binder handy, place the edge, which is wider, at your knee level so an angle can be created that will help your wrist stay straight and maximize the screen height.
3. Adjust your laptop’s screen backward to view it with little or no neck disturbance.
4. Be mobile. Stand up, move and stretch. The human body needs movement; it is unhealthy to remain static for extensive periods.
5. If you like to drag your pc between home and work, you can get a second power cord and other laptop tools and accessories. This way, you could easily keep the accessories in each location instead of taking the extra load back and forth.
You could consider using a backpack and double-padded straps. This is to avoid pulling your bag over one shoulder. And if the laptop accessories are too heavy, you can get a roll-along bag.