Five simple tips to create an ergonomic work station for laptop computers
Laptops were originally designed to improve the convenience, versatility, portability and efficiency of computers. However, due to improved storage capacity speed and other technical advancements, laptops have outgrown the situations they were intended for, and have, in some cases, begun to replace standard desktop computers in professional settings.
These days, it seems that just about everyone has a laptop computer. While laptops are certainly ideal because they can be used nearly everywhere, improper ergonomics can pose significant health risks such as Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI), Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD) and even Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
The best way to organize your desk for laptop comfort is to evaluate how much time you spend at your laptop computer, and pay acute attention to your posture and position when typing or viewing the screen. If you suffer from headaches, stiff necks, stiff back, sore arms, elbows, shoulders or wrists, it could be a sign of worse, or chronic health issues to come.
If you believe you are at risk, take the time to research work station accessories that will help you to organize your desk for laptop comfort. For instance, ergonomic equipment and laptop accessories such as laptop stands, ergonomic computer chairs, laptop computer mounts with swivels and tilts, and adjustable computer caddies can all help to improve your posture, viewing angle and typing height while working at a laptop computer. Installing proper and adequate lighting to reduce the glare is another key toward organizing your desk for laptop comfort.
If your profession or lifestyle requires the daily use of a laptop computer, consider the following ergonomic solutions to better organize your desk for laptop comfort and prevent health issues before they occur.
Five Simple Tips to Better Organize Your Desk for Laptop Comfort:
1) Invest in a laptop desk tray or docking station that enables you to plug in your laptop to a base station that has a monitor, as well as a keyboard and mouse already connected. While docking stations can be somewhat expensive, they can be worth it in the long run if they help to prevent injuries that could lead to lifelong health issues.
2) If laptop docking equipment is out of your price range, consider setting up a separate keyboard and mouse at your desk, and elevating your laptop with a cooling laptop desk. One of the biggest problems with laptop computers is that they have small keyboards that require stressful or harmful arm, wrist and finger positions. Avoid common wrist injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome by putting a separate, full sized keyboard in place at your desk.
3) Ironically, airplane seats, trains or other vehicles pose some of the very worst positions and situations to use laptop. If you must use a laptop while traveling, do your best to comfortably position the computer by elevating or angling it with books or magazines. Try to avoid using laptops for lengthy periods of time in any particularly impractical locations such as while lying in bed or lounging on a sofa.
4) A comfortable and ideal desk or workstation setup should promote neutral postures with the neck aligned with the spine, back relaxed but supported (ideally by a chair with a back) and elbows bet at an angle between 100 and 120 degrees, and wrists and hands straight.
5) To reduce vision strain, ensure that you have adequate lighting while working at your laptop computer. If you are traveling or working in dimly lit locations, consider purchasing laptop lights that can plug directly into a USB port.
After you have ensured that your laptop placement is comfortable, convenient and ergonomically correct, make certain that the rest of your desktop works well. Make certain that pens and papers do not encroach upon the space in which you move your mouse or position your keyboard – you don’t want to end up with a secondary keyboard in your lap.