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Making your Laptop Ergo-Savvy

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We all know that laptops are awesome- these days they are compact, lightweight, and durable. They go where we go- they're man's new best friend. However, laptops kill our posture and make us strain to use them. Here are some problems you will face with your laptop, coupled with a solution.

Problem

Keyboard & Mouse Setup: If you've recently switched from a desktop to a laptop, you know that the spacing on the keyboards are totally different. Laptops cram some keys together and sometimes just randomly assign placement of others. Plus, the touch pad on a laptop is uncomfortable, especially for long periods of time. Typing on this setup can lead to repetitive stress injuries, especially in the wrist.

Ergonomic Solution

Try an ergonomic keyboard and mouse when you don't have to have your laptop actually in your lap. This will allow for better placement of keys, while also allowing you to position your hands and wrists correctly, not to mention much more comfortable, which might keep you on task longer. Your wrists should never be cocked up or angled down- they should always be in a "neutral position" to avoid RSI, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Wrist rests can also help elevate your wrists to keep them straight ("neutral").

Problem

Monitor Size and Placement: A laptop monitor is often too small for the average guy, causing eye strain from, well, straining to see the screen. Additionally, most laptops force the user to look down, placing undue strain on the muscles of the neck and even shoulders.

Ergonomic Solution

If possible, dock your laptop and use a lift mate to raise the screen so that your monitor is eye level and sitting 15-20 inches from your face. Also, try to rest your eyes every one in a while by blinking or focusing on something other than the screen for a while. Additionally, some workers have found that getting a new set of reading glasses for use at work enables them to see more clearly.

Wrapping it up

It's not that you shouldn't use a laptop- they provide mobility in a face-paced world. However, when you are sitting at a desk, why not make a few ergonomic adjustments to prolong your own longevity?