Laptop computers have now replaced desktop computers as many office worker’s main computer.
This presents a challenging ergonomics problem. Since the laptop keyboard, pointing device, and screen are connected as a single unit it is impossible to have both a relaxed shoulder/arm/wrist position and a level neck and head posture.
If you raise the laptop to a comfortable position in front of your eyes, then the keyboard and pointing device will be too high and your wrists will suffer. If you lower the keyboard to a comfortable position, then you will strain your neck looking down at the monitor.
Laptop Ergonomic Solutions
The best solution is to use an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. All of these accessories are very affordable now. And you may not even need to buy them. With the increasing use of laptops, there’s probably a storage room someplace nearby full of unused monitors and keyboards.
If you can’t get a complete set of external accessories, try to either get either a monitor or a mouse and keyboard. This will let you position the monitor at a height that keeps your head and eyes about level with the horizon and position the keyboard and mouse so that your shoulders, arms, and wrists are as relaxed as possible.
If you are stuck working at a laptop with no external accessories, be sure to:
- position the laptop high enough so that you’re not straining your neck too much
- position the laptop low enough that you can reach the keyboard and mouse bending your wrists as little as possible
- take frequent breaks and do some stretching exercises
- also take breaks to look up from your monitor and focus on something far away to give help relax your eyes
- Laptop Ergonomics, Cornell University
- Computer Posture – Laptop Workstations, How To Make Your Laptop Workstation Ergonomic, Ergo in Demand
- Laptop Ergonomics-Tips for Relaxed Position, Safe Computing Tips