Ergonomics and Laptop Computers

Ergonomics – The Case Against Laptops

Mobility is touted as the latest trend in computing.  iPads, netbooks, laptops, cell phones that will even make your morning toast for you.

What’s lost in the conversation is that generally speaking, many of these devices are scoring low ergonomic points.  Notwithstanding the cell-phone-texting lady who did a face plant into a shopping mall fountain, there really is a hazard to relying on mobile devices for your primary workday.

Keyboards should be at a neutral position which means your forearms should be in a roughly 90 degree angle to your upper arms.  Monitor height should locate the center of the screen no more than 20 degrees below horizontal.  This is virtually impossible to achieve with a laptop.

Remember that your head is like a bowling ball.  If you get the arm position right, your neck and shoulders are compensating and over time, you’ll feel it.  Try holding that bowling ball at arm’s length for a minute or two as an accelerated example.  Listen to your body.

Our recommendation is to make your primary workspace ergonomically sound.  If you’re using a laptop, get a docking station that has an external monitor, keyboard that keeps your wrists straight, and of course a chair with adjustable lumbar support.

When it comes to ergonomics, there is no one-size-fits-all.

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