Laptop computers are lightweight, portable and convenient, allowing us to keep in touch with the home, office and school from almost anywhere.
Unfortunately, the laptop’s compact design, with attached screen and keyboard, forces laptop users into awkward postures.
When the screen is at the right height, the keyboard position is too high; and when the keyboard is at the right height, the screen is too low. Laptops pose less risk when used for short periods of time, but nowadays, many people use laptops as their main computer. This creates an ongoing trade-off between poor neck/head posture and poor hand/wrist posture. This brochure provides tips on how you can set up your laptop to achieve optimal postures as well as how to transport your laptop with less wear and tear on your body.
Setting up your laptop for frequent use
A comfortable workstation setup promotes neutral postures with the neck aligned with the spine (neutral – not bent or thrust forward), back relaxed but supported, shoulders relaxed (not hunched or rounded), elbows close to the body and bent at an angle between 90 and 120 degrees, and wrists and hands straight (not bent or turned). If you use a laptop frequently, optimize your home or office laptop workstation to promote such an ergonomic posture.
Setting up your laptop for occasional use
Use a chair that supports a comfortable upright or slightly reclined posture. In a reclined position, prop your feet up to maintain a neutral trunk/thigh angle. Be sure to maintain a neutral neck posture. Use a towel roll or inflatable lumbar pillow to provide low back support.
Place the laptop on your lap to help keep your wrists straight while keying. An empty 2-3 inch binder with the wider edge toward you knees will create an angle that will help keep your wrists straight and maximize the height of the screen.
Stand up and stretch frequently.
Carrying your laptop
The weight of a laptop and accessories can add up! Here are some ways to reduce the wear and tear on your body when transporting your laptop: