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Great tips for people who work from home on a laptop or students studying at home/the library.
Laptops shouldn’t be used for hours on end, they are only appropriate to use 5-10 minutes at a time. Use the following tips to improve your home ergonomics and reduce the risk of computer-related aches and pains.
1. Get yourself a separate keyboard and mouse
The issue with using the keyboard and trackpad on the laptop is that you end up in an uncomfortable crouched posture to view the screen properly and/or reaching forward for the keys because you’ve had to push the laptop back. Get a wireless keyboard (preferably without a number pad) and mouse and place them between yourself and the laptop so they are within close reach.
2. Get a laptop raise
Now that you’ve freed up the laptop by getting a separate keyboard and mouse, push the laptop back and ‘raise it up’! The screen should be raised high enough that the top of the screen is at eye level and an arm’s length away from you. You can even just use some reams of paper/text books to prop up your laptop to bring it to the right height if you’re just setting up at home.
3. Make it portable
A great option for those on-the-go is a small keyboard/mouse and compact, foldable laptop raise that can be folded and transported easily in your laptop bag so you can be ergonomic from home -> work -> cafe -> library!
If you want to be extra proactive in your approach to home ergonomics, look into the option of a ‘retrofit’ sit-stand desk, which is a mini desk that can be placed on an existing table/desk and adjusted easily between sitting/standing heights so you can alternate postures regularly. These are becoming more popular and more affordable and everyone can benefit from them, not just ‘injured’ workers.
Keep in mind, ‘the best posture is a constantly varied posture’ – so the more you move, the more comfortable you’ll be!
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About the Author
Anita McCrystal — Rehabilitation Physiotherapist
Anita, known as Annie, completed her Physiotherapy degree at Curtin University in WA. Early on she developed a keen interest in sport and travel after her experiences competing both nationally and internationally in artistic gymnastics and cheerleading.Back to blog home