Laptop computers were originally designed as portable, compact computers for use on the go. It’s this compact design that adds to the potential for ergonomic risk with prolonged use. Unlike desktop computers, you cannot adjust the monitor and keyboard independently. Adjusting the keyboard to elbow height encourages neck bending when viewing the screen. While, raising the monitor to eye level and accommodating eye height will position the arms awkwardly.
Many people use these portable computers as fulltime laptop workstations. If you use your laptop frequently and for periods of longer than two hours, as is typical in workplace settings where a notebook computer may be the employee’s main computer, begin to sit in a correct computer posture consistently and utilize other ergonomic practices, including the following:
A set of good ergonomic tips in using a laptop can be found in the website of The University of Ontario:
- Position the laptop on your desk/work surface directly in front of you.
- Set the unit’s height and screen angle so the images can be easily read without bending your neck. This may require that you elevate the laptop off the desk surface using a stable support surface, such as a computer monitor pedestal.
- If your desk height is satisfactory for your screen’s placement, attach a separate, full sized keyboard to your computer and use an independent mouse rather than the touch pad, trackball, or small joystick incorporated into your keyboard. Connecting ports for a keyboard and mouse can usually be found in the rear or side of your computer. However, there wireless devices have become increasingly popular.
- Place the separate keyboard on a negative-tilt keyboard tray connected beneath your desk surface. This helps ensure a neutral wrist posture.
- The mouse can be placed on an adjustable position mouse platform.
- Shoulders should be in a relaxed position and arms at your side, with elbows at a 90° position when typing. (Arms should not be splayed wide or extended to reach and use the mouse)
- Sit in a comfortable, adjustable chair with lumbar support and which allows you to sit at a slightly reclined position. This takes much weight off muscles and joints in the low back.
- Take “microbreaks” every half hour or so (including moving your eyes off the screen image to rest on distant objects for several seconds), perform desk stretches (neck, shoulder, arm, and leg stretches) at your desk occasionally, and get up from your desk to move around or perform standing stretches every couple of hours.
For more details you can Watch this is sweet animated movies done by Vodafone Spain.
Video A: Using a laptop at home or office
Video B: Using your laptop while travelling or in a hotel
The movies offer simple and actionable tips on how you can maintain a correct sitting posture while working on a laptop thus helping you avoid pain and tiredness.