Loading... Please wait...
Join Ergonomics Insider News

Ergonomics Blog - laptop

What Not To Do: Part 6


What Not to Wear

Have you ever seen What Not to Wear with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly? It's a reality show in which some unsuspecting person is singled out by friends and/or family for her fashion faux pas. It may be that she is unaware of her body type and wears clothes that just don't fit. Or it may be that her wardrobe and hair style reflect her glory days in 1985. Or it may be a total lack of awareness of self and the need to dress the part for her career. Whichever problem she's having, Stacy and Clinton step in to teach her what not to wear, and more importantly, what to wear. From the top of her head to the tips of her toes, each woman is shown what works best for her specific body type, coloring, and face shape and is given a list to keep on her person when shopping. What I love about the show is that they work with what she's got- there's no pressure to lose weight or or get a face lift. Rather, they focus on her existing assets an how to best maximize them and developing better shopping habits that will last (meaning, beyond the show!).

Welcome to Ergonomics: What Not to Do

Similarly, I am here to help you make and maintain better ergonomic choices. It may be that you know better and just keep making poor ergonomic choices, or it may be total ignorance that the choices you're making at work affect you at all. Either way, it's my job to walk you through some important ergonomic principles that I hope you will take with you as you go to work today (and tomorrow).

Today's Lesson: How to Make Your Laptop Ergo-Savvy

One of the easiest assumptions to make about laptops is that they should be used in your lap. It's an understandable mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. Here are some laptop do's and don't's for you to consider.

  • Dock your laptop. While laptops can be used on your laps from time to time and for short periods of time, it's important not to over-do lap use. Typing from your lap usually puts your whole body in poor ergonomic posture. Instead of staying in a "neutral" position, your body compensates for the lower placement of the laptop: your back is slumped, your neck is dropped to see the screen, and your wrists are usually cocked. None of those positions are ergonomically wise. By docking your laptop, you raise it and, therefore, your whole body.
  • Try a mini, wireless keyboard. It's important to raise the monitor so that the screen is at eye level, so as to avoid straining your neck and your eyes. This usually renders the laptop keyboard useless since it's out of reach. Thus, it's a good idea to use a mini wireless keyboard. You still have the portability and lightweight ease of a laptop, but much more function.
  • Use an ergonomic mouse. Instead of struggling with a touch pad, or as an addition to your mini wireless keyboard, an ergonomic mouse is a must! With an ergonomic mouse, you can relieve the strain on individual fingers from stretching to type and reach the touchpad. Plus, you can find an ergonomic mouse that fits your hand down to every last finger.

It's not that you can never use a laptop on your lap or the keyboard and mouse that come with it. It's just not wise to base your work hub on an ergonomically-straining posture. Any aches, pains, or strains you are experiencing now will only get worse. Now is the time to relieve them by practicing better ergonomic habits and posture.

Making the Most of Your Laptop

Let's face it, laptops are awesome. Yet at the same time, laptops were designed to provide mobility, not ergonomic comfort. Long term use can take its toll on your body. Recently an Indiana article posted about the dangers to skin caused by lap-held laptops. More than ever, we have to re-think how we [...]

Read More »

Getting An Ergonomic Mouse for Your Laptop

The Pros & Cons of LaptopsWe all love our laptops- they're fairly small, lightweight, and portable. However, if you work from your laptop or just spend a lot of time on it, you might grow weary of its limitations, at least ergonomically. Laptops simply do not offer wonderful ergonomics in that they are [...]

Read More »

Making Your Laptop More Ergonomic

Laptops have transformed the computer world, but their compact, portable design comes at a cost because they cannot meet ergonomic design requirements. The guidelines for ergonomics call for a separated computer screen and keyboard. Using a laptop creates a tradeoff between poor neck-head posture and poor hand-wrist posture. If you are a long-term laptop user, you need to pay careful [...]

Read More »

How to Make Your Laptop More Ergonomic

Laptops are a blessing and a curse. For every benefit, there seems to be a disadvantage. You get portability, but you have to use a touchpad and standard keyboard. You can use it on your lap, you strain your neck to see the screen. You can type on the couch, but [...]

Read More »

Should you be using a Mini Keyboard?

At the beginning of a new year, we often think about our health and set goals to improve the way look and feel. This is a good time to consider your wrist and hand health, too! If you spend hours on the computer each day, you may benefit from switching to a mini keyboard or other ergonomic keyboard.Ergonomic keyboards were [...]

Read More »

Ergonomic Keyboards Increase Comfort and Productivity at Work

Most people assume that the study of ergonomics is about creating tools to prevent injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) or other Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI). This is an incredible outcome from the ergonomic research, but the main purpose of ergonomics is to help people be more comfortable and more productive at work.Ergonomic keyboards are designed with these goals in [...]

Read More »

Going Wireless

Have you been thinking about trying some ergonomic products, but hesitate because of the hassle of all the wires you deal with? Check out the newest wireless options that can help you feel better with the full flexibility of cordless living. Two of the most common wireless products are the wireless keyboard and the wireless mouse.Wireless KeyboardsThere are numerous [...]

Read More »

Example of an Ergonomic Workstation

We frequently talk about working with good ergonomic principles and having a work space that really works for you. This is easier said than done, though. We know that. So we thought we'd high light the changes one reader told us about. He is a PhD student, a parish worker, and [...]

Read More »

Ergonomics for Laptops & iPads

Laptops and iPads are the wave of the future and a business trend we can't afford to miss out on. However, while both computers offer a variety of features, they also present an ergonomic challenge. Thus, if you currently use, or are considering either a laptop or an iPad for work, please check [...]

Read More »