Placing Your Laptop Well To Avoid Backaches

The turn of the century has seen an amplified increase in the use of laptops all over. On the upside, a laptop has made work life more flexible, time more manageable, hobbies and interests pursuable, and the lives more enjoyable, but on the downside, the use of laptop has brought in many orthopedic ailments, back and neck ache topping the list therein.

Though conveniently portable, the way the laptop is built causes some serious posture issues. The main disadvantage in the structure of the laptop is that the keyboard and the screen are attached together.

So, on one hand, if the screen has to be placed at the eye level for convenient viewing, the keyboard gets elevated, thus causing inconvenience in working on the laptop with much pain to the shoulder and arm muscles. On the other hand, if the keyboard needs to be at such a height that the body does not bend too forward to operate, the screen goes below the eyelevel causing intolerable pain and inconvenience to the neck bones and muscles.

The solution to this dilemma is not too difficult. By following the tips suggested here, one can derive the pleasure of working on a laptop without adversely affecting the body:

  • Screen height: To avoid any pressure on the neck, screen should be raised to just below eye level. This can be achieved either by positioning the laptop on a laptop mount or by placing a few books under it. The screen should always be placed at an arm’s length away. Increasing text size helps from slouching forward.
  • Keyboard and Mouse: Separate keyboard and mouse should be used. This would eliminate hunching ahead to reach the laptop’s in built keyboard.
  • Arm position: Keep wrists and arms relaxed with tension in the back, shoulders and arms relieved. Arms should be kept by the side, directly under shoulders. Sitting close to the desk is advisable to avoid stretching out to reach the keyboard and the mouse.
  • Head position: Head weighs the heaviest in our body. With improper head position, the shoulders and neck bear the brunt. In order to avoid any pressure on your neck, the head needs to be relaxed, with chin pointing down.
  • Armrest and seat height: Armrest height should support arms so that they are placed in level with the desk. The seat height should be such that there is no pressure on the legs. Knees are to be kept slightly lower than the hips, with feet flat on the floor by using footrest where needed.
  • Seat depth: The seat should be comfortable padded for long hours of sitting down. The thighs should be completely supported with the seat adjusted to fit just behind the knees.
  • Backrest: To relieve the tension in the back, the backrest height should be such that it cradles your lumbar curve or the curve in the lower back.
  • Taking breaks: Every once in a while, short breaks need to be taken to stretch and relax the muscles that have gone sore and stiff.

Martin Fraley

Helping developers, IT professionals, students and technology enthusiasts with SQL and a better laptop based workplace.

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