Laptops – are they ergonomic or not?

Are Laptops ergonomic?

Laptops have become increasingly popular over the years due to advances in technology. Gone are the days of most Australian households owning a computer monitor. Laptops are an affordable alternative to large computer screens, as they are smaller, lighter, and portable, making them suitable for different work locations. Overall, laptops have come a long way since they were first introduced. 

When individuals, families and households were encouraged to work from home during the pandemic, most people only had access to their work or personal laptop. Even if families had access to a computer monitor, only one person can use it at a time, leaving the other family members to work and study on smaller devices. 

When working or studying at home, a vast majority of people sit at a table and work directly off their laptop. Next time you are out for dinner with friends or families, ask – who in the group has worked or studied using their laptop sitting directly on their desk? It is likely to be 90-100% of the group. 

However, is it ergonomically friendly to work off a laptop? Unfortunately, it is not. If not set up appropriately, there are many issues that can arise for the individual working off a laptop. The most common problems include:

  • Neck pain – caused by looking down at the laptop screen
  • Back pain – caused by leaning forward on the chair to read off the screen
  • Forearm, wrist, and finger pain – caused by overuse of the track pad

There are two simple ways to make your laptop setup more ergonomic and minimise the risk of developing pain. These include: 

  • Elevate your laptop – this can be done using a pile of books, or ideally a laptop stand. 
  • Use a separate keyboard and mouse – once the laptop is elevated, you will need to use a separate keyboard and mouse placed directly on the desk, as typing directly off an elevated laptop can lead to further injuries. 

These two changes can make a huge difference in minimizing pain and discomfort at work. 

If you are confused about ergonomics and don’t know where to start, our laptop packs are a great option to suit everyone. Click on the link here. 

For further information regarding your workstation set up, please feel free to contact the friendly team of health professionals at Ergoworks.


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