While the laptop is a wonderful piece of technology, the way in which it is placed on a desk or on a lap is not always the most ergonomic. But, there are several practical steps that can be taken to increase the ergonomic setup of the laptop in the home or office. Here are a few of the ergonomic issues with laptops:
Laptop keyboards can be quite compact with some keys having camped spacing while others have odd placement. There is a greater risk of repetitive stress injuries and hand cramp in those that regularly use the small keyboards.
The screen size is typically a lot smaller with the laptop compared to the standard desktop monitor. The compact screen is certain to lead to the more noticeable cases of eye stain compared to the larger ones.
The position of the laptop screen and keyboard is fixed. While it is possible to tilt the angle of the screen, there isn't the option to place the screen and keyboard at different heights or spaced apart. This is necessary for the proper ergonomic setup.
Laptops are built with integrated pointers such as a dot or touchpad. They aren't the easiest to use or very comfortable. It can put the hand and wrist in an uncomfortable position and can lead to repetitive stress injuries over the longer periods of time.
Ergonomically setting up your laptop
There are several useful steps that can make the laptop setup more user-friendly. A simple solution is to create a setup that is similar to a full desktop computer. The wrists should be kept in a comfortable and natural position. Plus, the screen should be angled to minimize the need to bend the neck.
One of the best ergonomic solutions is to invest in a laptop docking station. This is a great choice for the laptop that is regularly used in a single location. The docking station is essentially a keyboard, monitor and mouse that are ready to connect to the laptop. This helps to create a setup that is similar to a full desktop computer with the screen at a more favored height and more flexibility to place the keyboard and other peripheral devices.
The next best solution is simply to use a stand with a separate mouse and keyboard. This gives the option to position the laptop screen at a height and angle that gives the desired comfort.