Laptop computers provide a portable alternative means to perform work or activities.
In short, individuals now have the luxury of working in a secondary or off-site office. However,
laptops by their nature increase the risk of developing repetitive strain injuries.
Taking the following steps may help to reduce the risk of developing injuries while
working on a laptop:
- If laptop is used as the primary computer, it is especially important to be aware of positioning.
- Adjust laptop so that the neck is not bent when looking at the screen.
- Use monitor risers or stand so that the screen in an optimal position.
- Putting laptop on a table will relax the neck and reduce eyestrain.
- Placing laptop on the lap will relax the shoulders.
- Switch laptop position from the lap to the table every 30 minutes.
- Connect a separate keyboard and mouse at arm/elbow level.
- Stretch often.
- Follow standard ergonomic positioning for a keyboard as closely as possible.
- Shoulders should be relaxed (try not to round them forward or hunch up towards the
- Head and neck should be relaxed (avoid letting head to drop forward).
- Ears, shoulders and elbows should be in vertical alignment.
- Keep the elbows open to 90 degrees or slightly greater.
- Keep the wrists neutral.
- Limit the peripherals being carried carry to the bare essentials to reduce weight.
- Frequently change the shoulder that the bag is carried on.
- Use a carrier with padded straps.
- Consider using a backpack with both straps over the shoulders to distribute the weight,
- Utilize carrier with wheels.
- Employ proper finger positioning, typing and mousing techniques.
- Avoid planting the wrists down while typing.
- Use two hands for 2-key functions.
- Use a lighter touch while typing.
- Keep the fingers relaxed.
- Consider the following practices to address thumb discomfort.
- Utilize a mouse that does not require the need to hold wrist in full pronation (such
as a contoured or vertical mouse).
- Change the hand when operating the mouse, or alternate between hands.