Tips for making your laptop workstations ergonomic follow. Because the laptop computer screen and keyboard are connected as one unit, establishing a proper viewing and keyboarding position can be difficult. Incorrect set up creates the potential for developing any of numerous painful and inconvenient computer injuries that are generally referred to by titles of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI), Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD), and Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). In addition to posture and office set up, your work requirements and office environment may benefit by using ergonomic accessories such as a laptop desk, laptop stands, laptop drawer. Very useful tips for using your laptop follow. There are also adjustable laptop computer arms that can be clamped to your wall, pole, or a desk. By clicking on the laptop accessories overview link to the right, you'll be able to view our entire line of laptop workstation accessories:
Text partially adapted from Cornell University Ergonomics Web, Professor Alan Hedge
Laptop computers, also known as notebooks, are not recommended for use as primary computers that are used for numerous hours everyday. However, they have been adopted for just that purpose by thousands of people.
- Find a comfortable, adjustable chair that allows you to recline very slightly.
- Angle the laptop screen so you can easily view the images with the least amount of neck deviation
Full-time users - Many people use these portable computers as full time 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:
- 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 "micro breaks" 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.
Follow the guidelines outlined in ergoindemand.com's "Ergonomic Design For Your Computer Workstations"