Earlier this year I received an e-mail from a colleague informing me she would be away from the computer for a while because she had developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms. The pain was so severe she could not type any longer. The doctor recommended she find another way to write (she’s a professional writer, like me) or choose a new career path.
This scenario is not at all uncommon for individuals who spend long hours in front of the computer. Unfortunately, computer use – and particularly laptops – promotes bad posture which can result in several different types of injuries. So in the interests of public health, I offer you the following suggestions for avoiding laptop injuries. I practice these things myself and they do work for me.
Position of the Laptop – Sitting on the sofa with a laptop resting in the lap is perhaps the worst thing you can do. This puts your hands in an unnatural and forces you to constantly look down, putting stress on your neck and shoulders. Use a table or a laptop desk instead so that you can sit in a more natural position.
Feet and Arm Support – Your feet should flat on the floor with your knees at a 90° angle. This is the most natural position and it will keep the amount of stress at a minimum. As for your arms, they should be supported either on your table or desk or by using a chair with adjustable arms. Your elbows should also be slightly lower than the level of the keyboard so that you’re reaching up instead of down.
Changing Positions – It’s very helpful to change positions several during the day by alternately standing and sitting. I’ve accomplished this by splitting my work between my dining room table and the kitchen counter. If you don’t have this option you can accomplish the same thing by getting up and walking around for 15 minutes or so every couple of hours.
Rest Your Eyes – Lastly, many people who work on computers all day come home with headaches and blame it on stress. Yet staring at the computer screen is a more likely cause. Rest your eyes by taking the focus off the computer screen and looking at objects in the distance. You might try gazing out the window, looking down the hall, or focusing on the sprinkler system in the ceiling.
Articles and posts written on the Laptop Repair blog represent those of the author and not those of Laptop Repair UK Ltd or CircuitUK Limited.