Are you a mommy blogger that spends most of your time on your laptop? Research, reading, and writing are all parts of the job but sometimes that job can become painful. I know I’ve spent a fair amount of time moaning and groaning over the aches and pains that I get from sitting on the couch too long, my laptop propped across my knees.
Serious Injuries are Closer than You Think
Unfortunately, sometimes those aches and pains are more serious than you might think. Subluxation is a big possibility and can cause a lot of problems. The process of subluxation can actually go unnoticed for a long time, however, and this is a problem unto itself. When it’s finally discovered, you’ll probably already be in a large amount of pain and maybe even noticing other health problems associated with it.
In her video “Ergonomics important when using laptops” Tamara James at Duke Occupational and Environmental Safety’s ergonomics division even says that by using laptops long term they could be “causing damage to the point where it’s not going to get better.” One of the ways to avoid getting uncomfortable and suffering any health consequences is by setting up an ergonomic work space.
So how can you set up your laptop to make it more comfortable?
1. Buy a separate keyboard- It’s convenient to have the monitor connected to your keyboard but it’s also hard on your wrists, elbows, and shoulders. A separate keyboard that hooks up to your monitor will give you the space you need.
2. Adjust the screen- A big problem with the screen is that most people end up having to look down at it. Push it back so that your head isn’t at such a downward slant for a long period of time.
3. Support your back- If you’re sitting on a soft surface place something behind you to support your back so that your posture is corrected.
4. Put something under your feet- I’m short so when I sit on the couch, or even some chairs, my feet don’t touch the ground. Place a stool or box under your feet so that they touch something solid.
5. Keep your wrists neutral- Don’t place the keyboard too close to your body. You want your wrists to be in a neutral position and not flexed too awkwardly.
6. Don’t look up- If you’re sitting at a desk you might actually have your laptop too high. You don’t want to look down to see it, but looking up isn’t good either. Make sure you lift your chin and not your neck to see the monitor.
7. Take a break- Don’t sit still for too long when you are working on a laptop. Getting up and taking a break whenever you can will help stretch your muscles.
8. Get a laptop docking station- If you get the chance, work at a docking station that has its own mouse and keyboard. You can also buy one of these if they are in your budget.
9. Get a separate mouse- A mouse will help take some of the pressure off of your wrists. Just make sure that you keep the mouse close to your keyboard so that you’re not reaching for it.
10. Reduce the glare- You don’t want to strain to see what’s on the keyboard, but you don’t want it too bright, either. Adjust the glare so that you’re still able to read what you’re typing but the brightness isn’t overwhelming.
The process of subluxation can be a long process before diagnosis is made. You don’t have to suffer from the pain of laptop use, even if you do spend most of your time researching for your blog. Laptops might not be the most conducive ergonomic devices, but there are ways that you can make using them more comfortable. For those of us that spend a majority of our time sitting in front of a screen, that can’t be anything but a good thing!
About the Author:
Jason Munroe loves to travel almost as much as he loves to write. A recent assignment on alleviating back pain lead him to seeking help from a Steinbach, MB Chiropractor which resulted in teaching him the advantages of setting up an ergonomic workspace and he’s never felt better.