Outside of work, most individuals spend time on their laptop surfing the web, e-mailing, or gaming. Laptops are great because they are portable and convenient, however they can create ergonomic concerns for the user. Users tend to avoid proper posture by sitting cross-legged on the floor or sitting in a recliner when using their laptop. This can result in injuries to primarily your neck, but also your shoulder, arms, wrists, and lower back.
I know that I am guilty of this! Last weekend I noticed after spending a couple of hours watching a television series on Netflix that I had a crick in my neck. Maybe it was also from texting or Facebooking, but regardless I thought it would be beneficial to share some tips on how to reduce this neck pain.
Here are some basic tips to create an ergonomic laptop setup:
- Be aware of your posture. Avoid resting your wrists while typing. Don’t bend your wrists when typing. Use whole hand and arm movements to navigate the keyboard.
- Place the laptop on a stand or a raised surface. This will help you to avoid bending your neck and head forward to see the screen.
- If you are in a reclined position using your laptop, such as your sofa or bed, make sure to prop your feet up to enable your hips and knees to be at a 90 degree angle. This will lessen the pressure on your lower back. You can also utilize pillows as arm rests to lessen the tension on your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Attach an external keyboard and mouse to your laptop. Position them at a height that allows your upper arms to hang loosely from the shoulder and your forearms to extend horizontally to the floor towards the keyboard.
- Angle the screen to reduce bending your head forward.
- Tuck your chin in to rotate your head instead of bending your neck.
- Take frequent stretch breaks.
Do you experience neck pain from using electronics? How do you try to eliminate it?