Is Your Laptop a Pain in the Neck?

attractive woman with laptop having neck painI recently heard on the news that more than 50 percent of adults have had neck pain during the past year. Hmm…wonder why?

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?

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