Laptop Ergonomics

When using your laptop, for pleasure or to work remotely from home, take a moment to evaluate the your work space. Ensuring it has a good ergonomic configuration will help prevent injuries and allow you to be more productive.

Fact: Many employees working from alternate locations are using their laptops as a primary device.

Truth: Laptops are not designed to be ergonomically suitable. They are compact and the screen is attached to the keyboard causing poor head/neck and hand/wrist posture.

Challenge: Setting up the laptop monitor and keyboard at the proper height.

Solution: Evaluate your workstation, make small adjustments, and improve your posture.

Benefits: Reduces musculoskeletal diseases, pain and discomfort.

Tips:No matter whether you work remotely or at the office, there are three important ergonomic rules everyone should follow:

  • First: maintain a neutral posture;
  • Second: use a chair that supports your back;
  • Third: position your computer monitor at eye level.

Even if you feel comfortable on your sofa, that does not mean your body is comfortable or well supported. In your remote location, dedicate a work space to help organize and create discipline in your day.

a. Maintain a neutral posture-neck should align with the spine (not bent or forward);
b. Back relaxed but supported;
c. Shoulders relaxed (not hunched or rounder);
d. Elbows close to the body and bent at an angle between 90 and 120 degrees;
f. Lastly, the wrist and hands straight (not bent or turned).

There is no problem with using your dining room table as your desk, as long as you can position your computer screen in front of you so you don’t strain your neck
The chair may be the most important part of your remote office, depending on how much time you spend sitting. Sit all the way back in your chair, make sure your back is straight and supported.
If you are going to use your laptop for extended periods try to use a laptop stand or place your laptop on a stable support surface, such as reams of papers, boxes, or books to achieve proper screen height (browser bar at your eye level). Also, you should consider adding an external keyboard and mouse. This will help prevent poor posture with either the arms or hands held too high or the neck and back bent low
Even if you have a perfect workstation, you shouldn’t sit all day. Instead, mix up your posture; take mini-breaks during the day - go for a short walk and/or add stretch exercises every hour. You can easily switch positions by sitting at the dining room table and standing at your kitchen counter. This may help to keep you comfortable during the day.

Start today by taking care of yourself and creating a healthy environment.

If you feel you are experiencing discomfort due to the setup of your workstation, visit: http://www.ehs.ufl.edu/programs/ergonomics/office-ergonomics/ for help to adjust your workstation.

Please contact: cindy.mercado@ehs.ufl.edu with any questions or to schedule a consultation via phone or Zoom/Skype during emergency situations.