Laptop computers were never designed to be desktop computers. The slim line, compact, easy-to-pack in a bag, and travel design of a laptop which incorporates a keyboard attached to a screen makes it impossible for the user to achieve an anatomically correct postural alignment while typing and looking at the screen.
Ensuring that you and your staff are ergonomically positioned is crucial for maintaining a healthy and productive workplace. Poor workstation laptop positioning can lead to a range of muscular skeletal disorders (MSDs) and health issues. These include back and neck pain, eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. These issues can impact the user’s general well-being, reduce productivity and increase healthcare costs, negatively affecting your business.
Companies can invest in ergonomically positioning their staff's laptop screens by:
- Providing height-adjustable laptop stands and external Keyboards and mice. The laptop stand will allow staff to position their laptop screen at eye level which allows for the user’s head and neck to be in correct alignment. An external keyboard and mouse will allow the user to correctly position their arms and hands.
- Provide staff with a separate monitor/screen attached to an adjustable monitor arm. This will allow for ideal screen positioning while the user uses the laptop keyboard or a separate keyboard and mouse.
- Offer ergonomic assessments to staff. This will identify any issues with the workstation setup and provide you with a report of any necessary adjustments required.
By investing in ergonomic solutions like laptop stands and accessories, companies can reduce the risk of muscular skeletal injuries, increase productivity, and improve employee well-being.
Promoting good ergonomics can create a safer, healthier workplace for employees, resulting in greater job satisfaction and higher levels of engagement which contributes to business success.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Computer Workstations eTool: Workstation Components. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/components.html.
Katz, J. N., et al. “Interventions to Improve Workstation Ergonomics in Office Workers.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 1, 2007, CD001877. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001877.pub3.
Choi, B. K., et al. “Effects of an Ergonomics Education Program on the Musculoskeletal Symptoms and Work-related Physical Fitness of Call Center Agents.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, vol. 28, no. 6, 2016, pp. 1732–1738. doi: 10.1589/jpts.28.1732.
Robertson, M. M., et al. “Effects of an Ergonomic Intervention on Musculoskeletal, psychosocial, and visual strain of VDT Data Entry Work.” Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, vol. 9, no. 2, 1999, pp. 167–185. doi: 10.1023/A:1021355406235.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-131/pdfs/2007-131.pdf.
Image: Lena Juross, 2016. Whittens Physiotherapy Centre. Posture – Check your desk posture.