As our lives become more and more reliant on technology, it is not uncommon to spend hours hunched over our laptop screen. While it may seem like a harmless activity, poor posture and ergonomics lead to a plethora of issues, such as pains, strains, and aches in our neck, back, and eyes. Fortunately, you can take proper steps to ensure that your work or study space is well-optimised for productivity and comfort.
In this post, we will explore five effective ways to boost ergonomics while using your laptop, so you can study or work smarter as well as stay comfortable, no matter the duration you spend at it.
1. Adjust your laptop height and angle
Adjusting your laptop height is an effective way to boost its ergonomics, preventing eye and neck strain. When your screen is at an improper height, you end up looking downwards or craning your neck forward for prolonged periods, which leads to pain, stiffness, and tension. To achieve the proper laptop height and angle, you can use a monitor arm, laptop stand, or a laptop riser. Not only will they allow you to adjust your laptop height and angle effectively, but they will also create more desk space, which is also a great way to keep your environment ergonomically simple. The ideal position for your laptop screen should be at eye level.
2. Use an external mouse and keyboard
When you use the laptop’s built-in touchpad and keyboard, you often end up hunching over or bending your wrists at an awkward angle, which leads to chronic injuries, pain, and discomfort. Using an external mouse and keyboard allows you to position your hands and arms correctly, creating a more natural and comfortable posture, which helps reduce the developing of repetitive strain injuries, such as bursitis, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. When selecting an external mouse and keyboard, look for ones that have ergonomic designs and features.
3. Sit in a supportive chair
Sitting in the right chair that supports your back adequately is another crucial aspect of boosting laptop ergonomics. To do so, choose a chair that promotes adequate lumbar support and has adjustable features to fit your body shape and size. The chair should also enable you to plant your feet flat on the ground with your knees at 90 degrees. Getting an ergonomic chair allows you to adopt and maintain healthy postures.
4. Take frequent breaks
No matter what ergonomic products you may use, prolonged sitting in front of your laptop is not healthy. Hence, to prevent muscle fatigue and eye strains, it is always recommended to take a break every 20-30 minutes to look away from your screen and stretch your wrists, shoulders, and neck. Taking frequent breaks also allows you to improve blood circulation in your body.
5. Reduce glare and adjust lighting
Poor lighting conditions cause headaches, eye strains, and other forms of discomfort, which can impact your work and general well-being adversely. To optimise your lighting and reduce glare, position your laptop away from any direct sources of bright light or glare. Additionally, you can also adjust the contrast and brightness of the screen to make the viewing experience more comfortable.
Improving laptop ergonomics is vital for maintaining good well-being and health. With the rising need for hybrid learning and working, it is more crucial than ever to ensure that we use our laptops in ways that are both safe and comfortable. By incorporating these five steps into your laptop use, you are able to reduce the risk of developing chronic health issues, such as repetitive strain injuries, neck pain, and back pain, which will also boost your focus and productivity significantly.