If you’re a writer like me and spend a huge amount of time in front of your laptop then you probably walk away from it on a regular basis feeling sore and uncomfortable. You might even feel legitimate pain from using your laptop. Well, this doesn’t have to bring you down anymore; especially if you use an ergonomic workspace.
Eliminating Laptop Discomfort
You may have heard of ergonomic chairs and desks. I had only heard of them when checking into fancier hotels that claimed them as perks in the hotel room. I didn’t really know what they were all about, but I knew that as soon as I set my laptop up on the hotel desk I had a better overall experience typing at it.
Ergonomics essentially refers to creating a space that is more comfortable and conducive to what you are doing. this is particularly important if you are working on a laptop.
Unfortunately, some of the greatest benefits of working on laptops are also some of the biggest disadvantages. For instance, I like to sit in bed and prop my laptop up on my lap. This actually isn’t good. It puts your wrists and elbows at awkward positions and can cause a lot of pain. In an ergonomic workspace, your wrists should be in a neutral position.
Likewise, I like the fact that the laptop doesn’t take up so much space and that the screen is right in front of me. Unfortunately, this is the cause for my arm and shoulder pain. Instead, I finally broke down and purchased an ergonomic keyboard that attaches to the laptop. It might seem counter-productive but I have noticed a huge change in my comfort level and that actually makes me more productive.
Sitting on the couch with my laptop perched on my lap was my usual way of working in the evenings. However, the back pain that was associated with the slouch I developed was horrendous. You’ve probably noticed yourself that the longer you sit on the couch with your computer, the lower you tend to sink into it. Having good posture is important and a good ergonomic chair will offer this. If it’s not possible at the time, though, then you should still try to find ways of reducing the pressure on your back. Support your back with firm pillows so that you are sitting up straight. Make sure the top of your monitor is parallel to the top of your head so that you’re not looking too far down or up.
I ended up purchasing a small mouse to keep in my laptop bag, too. I am adept at using the pad on the computer but it was hurting my wrists after hours and hours of typing. The mouse, which is kept close to the keyboard, takes some of that pressure off my wrist.
As a full time writer I knew that the occasional aches and pains were uncomfortable but I didn’t know that they could actually be signs of something serious, like subluxation degeneration. Not only can this kind of condition cause severe pain but can even limit range of motion and have an effect on your overall quality of life. There’s help, though.
Don’t forget that when you’re typing on your laptop you need to get up and take frequent breaks. It’s easy to remember to take breaks when you’ve been sitting in a chair at a desk for hours but time tends to get away from us when we’re in a different, supposedly comfortable, location like our beds and couches. The break is important, though, as is stretching.
You don’t have to be in pain from using your laptop on a regular basis. With a few simple ergonomic improvements, you can use your favorite technological device and still be productive without the discomfort that has gone alone with it in the past.
About the Author:
Jason Munroe is no stranger to spending lots of time in front of his monitor. As a full-time writer, he has utilized the help of chiropractors in Steinbach, Manitoba to research good ergonomic workspaces that can keep him comfortable and productive.