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Laptops and Posture: How to Prevent Pain and Maintain Good Ergonomics

image of office worker on a laptop with neck pain from poor posture

As a chiropractor, I frequently discuss posture with my patients. Identifying factors in an individual’s life that contribute to poor posture is essential. It’s important to examine areas where we spend the most prolonged time during the day. Are you sitting at a desk with an unsupportive chair all day? Driving in a car with an improperly positioned seat? These factors significantly impact posture. However, one major culprit for posture-related pain that I often encounter is the use of laptops.

Why are laptops detrimental to posture?

You might assume that working on a laptop is no different than using any other computer. However, the positioning of the screen and the keyboard make this setup an ergonomic nightmare. With a regular desktop, the ideal positioning for the keyboard is near your lap, allowing your arms to hang naturally while you type. The screen should be positioned so that the top of the screen is level with your eyes.

Unfortunately, achieving optimal positioning with a laptop is impossible. If you set up the keyboard correctly, you have to bend your neck down to see the screen. If you place the screen at the appropriate level for your neck, you have to lift your arms to type. Most people end up compromising between these two extremes, which results in poor posture and strain on both the neck and arms.

Additionally, the portability of laptops often means they are not used at a desk. Instead, they are utilized at the kitchen table, on your lap while sitting on a couch, or even lying in bed. All of these locations force you to adopt poor posture positions to accommodate the laptop’s setup.

The solution for laptop posture

laptop with an external keyboard for good posture

There’s no denying that laptops offer numerous benefits, such as portability and convenience. However, it’s crucial to find a solution that allows you to maintain good posture while using a laptop. Since the primary issue stems from the screen and keyboard being too close together, separating them is key to maintaining a healthy spine.

Using an external keyboard and a laptop stand is my recommended solution for the laptop ergonomic problem. This setup allows you to have a keyboard and mouse at the right level for your arms and upper back, while also enabling your neck to sit comfortably to see the screen. With this arrangement, you can still take your laptop with you for portability, but maintain good posture for the majority of your work. Good posture goes a long way in preventing back pain.

An external keyboard with a laptop stand is my solution for the laptop ergonomic problem. It allows you to have a keyboard and mouse at the right level for your arms and upper back, and lets your neck sit comfortably to see the screen. This way you can still take the laptop with you if you need portability, but for the bulk of your work, you can stay in a good posture. And good posture goes a long way to keeping you out of back pain.

If you’re experiencing back pain related to posture or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help. If you’re in the Norwalk, CT area and require treatment, click the button below to schedule an appointment and start feeling better fast. Remember, good posture and proper ergonomics are crucial for a pain-free, healthy lifestyle.