Laptops have been an imperative addition to the traditional office, as they are portable and can save you time in doing your work. However, prolonged working hours on the laptop can get an individual accustomed to bad posture, back pain, other body-related injuries, etc.
Using proper laptop ergonomics can improve your productivity without causing problems to your body. Even though many laptop brands have tried to improve the experience of working on a laptop, there are still a few adjustments that you can make to enhance laptop ergonomics.
A Glimpse of Good Laptop Ergonomics
An ergonomic laptop setup focuses on letting your body by working in a neutral position. You are provided with less stress on the nerves, muscles, and bones when working on the Laptop. There are numerous Laptop ergonomics that we’ll be discussing in the article.
However, do not get into the habit of prolonged deviation from the neutral position as it can lead to RSI injuries.
Ergonomic Tips for Frequent Laptop Users
- Try using a laptop stand to match the screen to eye level.
- Get an external wireless keyboard to maintain natural wrists while you’re typing.
- Sit straight or at a reclined angle, supported adequately by the chair’s backrest.
- Keep your chest open and maintain the natural curve of the lower back. Maintaining this can result in reducing spinal pressure.
- The armrests and height of the seat need to be adjusted to create a 90-100 degree open elbow angle.
- Both your feet must be placed flat on the ground and not crossed.
- Take a break every half an hour to ease you up.
Ergonomic Tips for Casual Laptop Users
- Make sure to angle the screen back; this way, you can view the laptop with the least amount of neck deviation.
- If you want to place your laptop on the thighs, try using a wedge-shaped binder or laptop tray.
- Do not place the laptop on the thighs anyhow. This results in the upper body being placed in the worst possible posture to type or view the screen. Keep them off your thighs for a better work experience.
- Have a chair that can offer reclining or a comfortable upright position.
- Look out for an elevated surface to keep the laptop. A prime example could be a tea table. Try being in a squat or kneeling position to work on your laptop to keep you comfortable.
- You can reduce the blue light exposure and glare when working outside with blue-light-blocking glasses and an anti-glare filter.
- Get up, stretch your arms, and move. Take a break after every half an hour by walking around or stretching as your body is not designed to stay still for prolonged hours.
Select & Use the Ideal Laptop Stand
An important thing that you need to keep in mind is to raise the screen to your eye level. It is a perfect example of good laptop ergonomics.
Having a laptop stand can help the upper body stay in alignment. Your back is comfortably straight along with relaxed shoulders and neck. If the budget is tight, there are alternate ways in a stack of books to substitute for a laptop stand.
In terms of Laptop stands, there are four different types, with each having pros and cons. Have a look at them:
Dual Rise Stands
They look elegant with height adjustments and also robust angling. Additionally, it lets you use external keyboards that can be underneath it by allowing placing the laptop screen close to you. It is a good option for using at home or even during office hours. Apart from being handy, it looks stylish as well.
Wedge Shape Stands
These stands offer you a better viewing angle of your laptop while working. Apart from its impressive design, it is pretty easy to carry. However, it does require more desk space, and the external keyboard won’t fit in. Nevertheless, it is very portable.
Daddy Long Legs
As the name suggests, the Laptop stand has long adjustable legs. The biggest con about it is that it can be tough to adjust to its correct position. This Laptop Stand can be of best use when sitting on the floor to work on your laptop.
They are well built and are pretty vital to holding a laptop. The only negative is the requirement for larger desk space. However, Laptop trays are essential for use on the bed to work on your laptop or as a desk riser on an elevated surface.
Additionally, the dual rise stand shines amongst others as it can be used easily in your home or office as laptop trays provide a lot of versatility.
Switch between different Laptop Working Positions
(Stand, Sit, Squat & Kneel)
What makes a laptop a preferred choice is its mobility. You do not have to be at a particular place to do your stuff; instead, you can complete your work where you desire to sit and go about things. If you are in the work-from-home, consider switching between different positions regularly to avoid impacting your body.
You can try kneeling and squatting while working on a Laptop, as a recent study says that they bring about eight times the muscle activity compared to while you’re sitting. Squatting and kneeling also restore hip mobility.
When it comes to an excellent ergonomic routine when working on the laptop, you can divide every hour into equal terms between sitting and standing. Take breaks between your rigorous work to move around, and then switch to a squat or kneeling position to do your work while you’re surfing the laptop.
Ensure that the screen is at eye level to keep you relaxed during your working hours in front of the laptop.
Minimize Blue Light Exposure coming from your Laptop:
Yes! There are ways you can reduce blue light exposure radiating from your laptop screen. The scary part is the high-energy, short wave light penetrates the back of your retina and can result in permanent damage to the eyes.
A 2018 study showed how blue light exposure kills photoreceptor cells in your eye that are required to see things. Also, photoreceptor cells do not regenerate after they die.
Closeness to the blue light exposure is a significant issue, as continuous staring at your laptop can be deadly compared to staring at your desktop monitor, which is further away in terms of distance.
A Three-step approach is needed to minimize the effects of blue light on your laptop:
1. Install f.lux; it is a free program that controls the screen’s color temperature regarding what time of the day it is. The main motive for using this is to help you sleep better, with little or no help of filtering out blue light coming out from the laptop screen.
2. Try using blue-light-blocking glasses or a screen filter. There is no conclusive evidence that they help in a way. However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that proves that they help without any side effects, for that matter.
3. Try to look away from the laptop screen at regular intervals. You can use a timer to set a time to rest your eyes after every half an hour for 20-30 seconds.
Essential things to keep in mind when using a Laptop
There are many things that you should do and also what you should avoid when using your laptop.
What you should DO
- Regular breaks are a must.
- Using ergonomic equipment like laptop stands is essential when working for long hours.
- As the laptop is portable, keep switching places or positions now and then.
Ergonomic equipment needed are, Laptop stands, an external keyboard, and a wireless mouse.
What you shouldn’t DO
- Do not stay in the same position for a longer duration. Being in the same position for hours will cause many problems for your body.
- Don’t ignore the signs when your body can’t handle being at work for prolonged hours.
- Say no to slouching, head hanging, and slumping.
Laptops are an essential part of any working space. However, it can cause a lot of trouble when you’re on it for a longer duration. Blame it on the way laptops are built; you’ll probably have a bad posture.
For excellent laptop ergonomics, subtle changes need to be made that can be beneficial in the long run. Whether you want to add a laptop stand, go wireless, or take frequent breaks, these are some of the ergonomic adjustments that have been discussed above in the article.