If you’re someone who spends a chunk of their time working on a laptop, then chances are that your shoulder would make a crack sound if you pressed it just about now.
It may not be the same as a computer. Computers have a more ergonomic design, where you can maintain both- a good neck posture, and a good wrist posture. Laptops, on the other hand, allow for just one. The screen and the keyboard of a laptop are integrated into a single unit, meaning that you can either adjust the screen for a good neck posture or level the keyboard for a good wrist posture. It’s one or the other.
But don’t get disheartened. There are ways you can set up your workspace and get rid of the fatigue. In this article, we’ll look at 5 ergonomic tips that you can start employing right away.
Use External Devices
When you’re working on your laptop for extended periods of time, it is recommended that you use a separate keyboard and mouse. This way, you can properly position your laptop screen at eye level as well as let your arms and shoulders relax. Companies like Dell manufacture wired and wireless keyboards that are compatible with their laptops. These are portable, easily attachable, as well as light in weight.
Image: Dell KB813 Black
Another alternative is to use an external monitor. This way you can continue to use your laptop’s super-handy keyboard and mousepad, and at the same time, larger screen size will reduce your eye and neck strain.
Adjust Your Chair
If you have a chair that is fully adjustable and has a good armrest and lumbar support, then your job is half done. Now all you have to do is adjust it properly. Here are all the things you’ll need to consider:
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Backrest: Make sure your backrest is locked in an upright or slightly reclined position. If your chair has lumbar support, make sure to adjust it above the beltline. It should be able to maintain the natural curve in your lower back. If the chair doesn’t have inbuilt lumbar support, then you should consider purchasing a lumbar roll and attaching it.
Armrest: You wanna adjust your armrests to a lower height, such that your wrists are relaxed and your upper arms are parallel to your upper body. If you have a keyboard tray, then a good idea would be to adjust the tray and the armrests to the same height.
Seat height: While sitting, your heels should lay flat on the ground. This indicates that your knees are in level with the hips, and are bent to 90 degrees. You might also wanna make sure that there is a one-finger gap between the back of your knees and the front of the seat. If all these conditions are fulfilled, and yet your feet do not touch the ground, then it’s a good idea to use a footrest.
Distance: Your seat should be placed such that the monitor is an arm’s length away from you. You don’t wanna go too close, or sit too far, as both of them can cause discomfort in typing, viewing the screen, and holding your head upright. As for the height, a good rule of thumb would be: Your eyes should fall naturally on the top third of the screen when you look straight ahead.
Invest in An Anti-Glare Screen
Apart from your neck, your shoulders, and your back, your eyes too can be easily fatigued by prolonged usage of the laptop. To avoid eye fatigue, you can use an anti-glare filter. An anti-glare filter, also known as a glare filter, is a clear panel placed over your laptop screen. This filter is matte and is designed to cut down the light reflected from your screen. This gives you better contrast, better colors, and increases the overall sharpness of the display. In other words, it reduces the strain that your eyes have to put in viewing a glossy screen, leading to a much more pleasant working experience.
Adjust Your Table
The position of your arms while typing is very important. You want minimum strain on your wrists and shoulders. For this, make sure your keyboard and mouse are at the same height as your elbows. If you have a tray, you wanna align it such that your wrists are straight, and your elbow is in a neutral position. If you do not have a tray, you can also get wrist support. These are easy to attach to the table and keep your arms comfortable when you work for long hours.
Use a Laptop Stand
It can be tricky to find a comfortable position when the laptop is placed on your lap. Holding the laptop on your lap means utmost comfort to your arms, but great difficulty to your neck. This is why you should consider using a laptop stand. Or if you do not have one, get a binder, and place it under your laptop. Place the wider edge at your knees so that it heightens the screen. This will make it easier to work for long stretches. However, remember that it’s not a permanent solution. Weirdly, though it is made for the lap, that is the poorest place for a laptop. Sure, you won’t always have a table around, or you might wanna lounge and work sometimes. But for those days, a much better alternative would be to use a portable bed table. Use your couch, or the headboard of the bed as a backrest, and work away on your bed table.
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That brings us to the end of this article. Hope your back was upright while reading it. Tell us which tip you’re going to put to use right away, and which tip you’d rather pass. Before signing out, let us leave you with the most important of all tips- take breaks and make movements. Some light stretches once every hour won’t hurt, and an occasional walk around your cabin would prove valuable too.
Author bio: Jagruti Jaiswal is a content writer who experiments with new laptop postures every day and writes about them in her leather journal.