Sunday, April 5th, 2009 | Computer Usage, laptops
While the combination of working in an awkward position and excessive use of a laptop may cause back, neck and leg problems, it is unlikely that moderate and sensible use of a laptop will cause postural problems for a teacher.
How much time will you spend working on your laptop? This may vary, but it seldom would be more than an hour or so at a time. Teachers can therefore be called occasional users rather than full-time users. Much of what has been said about postural problems caused by laptop use pertains to full-time users.
You don’t have to purchase fancy equipment to make your laptop ergonomically acceptable. A good posture can be achieved simply by finding the ideal body position.
Play around with the following suggestions until you find a comfortable working position.
Move the laptop close enough to you so that you do not have to bend your head forward to see what is on the screen.
Angle the screen to the most comfortable position.
Select a chair and table that are comfortable for you to work on. Putting the laptop on your lap is not the most comfortable position and putting it next to you on the bed is not recommended.
If you have to work on your lap at times, support your feet with a footstool so that your knees are not lower than your hips.
The most important advice is to take a break regularly – get up and stretch. This has the added advantage of reducing eye strain.
You will know that you are maintaining a good posture while using your laptop when you are able to work on it without hunching, craning your neck or stretching your arms more than necessary. You will also know that you are not maintaining a good posture if your body talks to you through aches and pains after a session with your laptop.
A lot has been written about laptop ergonomics. While a good posture is important, the matter is often over-stated. Let your mind and your body guide you.
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