Working from home ergonomics checklist | House and Tech

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Best computer/laptop position for your back?

Nowadays, laptops and computers are necessities for students and most people in the workforce. Although this increase has greatly benefited society, it also comes with some side effects that cannot be ignored. Regardless of your work environment, working remotely on your dining room table, or spending eight hours at your local office building, you can still experience back pain.

For instance, statistics have shown that the increase in the use of computers/laptops is in sync with the increase in the percentage of people suffering from back pain. For this reason, knowing the right and best laptop position for your back is important to avoid avoidable back injuries. With a large group of people working from home today, people wonder, what is the best computer/laptop position for your back? Keep reading to learn more about this.

Why do I have pain when working on computers?

back pain working on computer

The type of pain people develop from working on computers is generally called “Repetitive Strain Injury” (RSI). It is a general term used to describe a wide range of injuries that come from repeated use of the hands, arms, or wrists. The most common symptoms are pain, numbness, tingling, and inflammation. These symptoms can make it difficult to do everyday tasks like writing or even gripping a steering wheel.

People often develop RSI from poor ergonomics while working on a computer. This occurs when they are not taking breaks often enough, are not using the correct posture, or are using the wrong accessories. For example, if you are constantly typing on your laptop with your wrists bent upward, you are at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. To avoid this, make sure to take breaks every 20 minutes, adjust your chair and computer screen to eye level, and use a wrist rest.

Shoulder pain when sitting at desk?


Neck and shoulder pain are two of the most common problems people experience from working on a computer. This is generally because they are not using the correct posture or taking enough breaks.

To avoid neck pain, make sure to adjust your chair so that the screen is at eye level and the keyboard is close to you. You should also keep your head in line with your spine, and avoid looking down at your screen for too long.

To avoid shoulder pain, make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows at a 90-degree angle. You should also use a mouse pad and take breaks every 20 minutes.

When working from home, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are set up in an ergonomic position. Here are some quick home office ergonomics tips.

What are the ergonomic basics that apply to virtually every workplace?

The best computer/laptop position for your back is an upright position that aligns your neck with your spine. Using an office chair with lumbar support or a pillow is best to maintain the alignment and proper support for your lower back.

To attain this position, you must position your legs, eyes, arms, and other body parts in specific postures that will be described in this article. So you don’t want to stop reading here. 

What is the best computer/laptop position for your back?

ergonomic posture

As mentioned above, the best laptop position for your back is an upright position that aligns your neck with your spine. Keep your arms by your side, your shoulders relaxed, your back relaxed and supported, and your wrist and hands straight.

Generally, sitting for long periods of time is not good for your back. However, since it can not be avoided sometimes, it is best to adapt sitting postures that favor your back.

To attain the best computer/laptop position for your back,

Keep your laptop at eye level.

This is very important. Most laptop users fail to keep their laptops at eye level when using them. It is usually very convenient to place your laptop on your lap and work, especially when on a train or in an area with no tables to place your laptop. 

Although it may be convenient, it is very unhealthy for your back and creates neck flexion. So, keeping your laptop at eye level is best to avoid slouching, resulting in back pain.

Keep your back relaxed and supported.

It is very important to keep your back supported when using a laptop/computer, especially if you intend to be on it for a long time. It would be best if sit in an upright posture in a chair that supports your back. 

Also Read:   Can Myofascial Release Therapy Help With Back Pain?

This may not pose a problem for office workers since they usually have good office chairs supporting the back. You can support your back with soft and firm pillows if you decide to work on your bed or couch.

Keep your feet flat and firmly planted on the ground.

It is important to plant your feet firmly on the ground to achieve the overall ideal posture. Your upper legs should be horizontally flat against the bottom of the chair, with the lower legs forming a 90-degree angle at the knees. Do not fold your feet backward but keep them straight at a 90-degree angle to your lower legs.

Keep your arms by your side.

Always aim to keep your arms tucked to your sides rather than moving them towards the desk and away from your arms. Pull the desk carrying your laptop/computer towards you to avoid stretching your arms to type on the keyboard and keeping it at arm’s length.

Keep your hands and wrists straight.

Your wrist and hands should be kept straight at a 90-degree angle to your upper arms. Failing to do this will severely impact your wrist over time.

Those are the five ideal postures needed to attain the best computer or laptop position for your back.

You can do several things to ease the task of adapting to the best ergonomic setup for your computer or laptop.

Use a laptop stand

This is a perfect and easy way to lift your computer screen to your eye level. Besides using a laptop stand, you can raise your laptop to your eye level using books or anything firm enough to keep it standing.

Get a large screen

Although laptops with larger screens do not look as appealing as those with smaller screens. They will help preserve your back and prevent eye strain. Trying to adapt to the best laptop position with a small laptop does not work for some people. 

They may find themselves tilting forward from time to time to see what is on the screen. This will change the ideal posture and likely result in back pain. If increasing the font size still does not work for you, you can get a larger version of your laptop or get an external monitor.

Get a separate keyboard.

This is the ideal solution for those who find it difficult to adapt or maintain the best laptop position when tying their inbuilt keyboard. An external keyboard would help you maintain a good posture even when typing. 

You will not have to tilt forward to type on the keyboard or displace or elbow or wrist from the right position when typing. With an external keyboard, you can keep your arms relaxed by your sides with your hand and wrist angle 90 degrees from your arms.

Get a separate mouse.

This is similar to getting a separate keyboard. We often adapt our sitting positions to our laptop setup, which is not right. Procuring a separate mouse will help you adapt your laptop setup to your sitting position and not the other way around. 

You could keep your hand and wrist straight and relaxed and maintain the best laptop position for your back.

Use a footrest

The best laptop position requires your feet to be firmly planted on the floor. Get a footrest if your chair has been raised high enough to leave your foot hanging. This will resolve the issue and keep your feet in the right position.

Use an adjustable office chair.

It is easier to adapt the right laptop position for your back with an adjustable chair. Irrespective of your desk or table length, you can adjust the chair height to keep your arms by your sides and parallel to the table. 

Conclusion


Chronic pain was usually associated with aging, but this is no longer so. With the increase in the use of laptops/computers, the number of youths experiencing back pain is rising due to poor posture while working on laptops. 

There is good ergonomics every laptop and computer user should adapt to avoid back pain. It would be best if you sat upright, aligning your neck with your spine. Keep your arms by your side, your shoulders relaxed, your back relaxed and supported, and your wrist and hands straight.

You can achieve this posture by using a lumbar chair, larger screen, external computer monitor, keyboard and mouse, and laptop stands. To relieve the current back pain, consider myofascial release therapy.

Thanks for reading till the end!

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