Save Your Back from Your Laptop
By Sara Butler
You’ve probably read about a lot of the ways in which you can set up your computer at work to help prevent back and neck problems, but what about laptops? Laptops have their own set of rules when it comes to protecting your back from their use. They are, after all, not really made in a way that allows you to have it at eye level while keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle! Here’s what you need to know about preventing back and neck pain if you’re a laptop user.
Laptops, as mentioned, aren’t designed to be ergonomic. They are convenient because they are portable and lightweight, and many people use them when they are on the go. But laptops are also guilty of forcing people into very awkward postures for long periods of time. You can’t adjust the screen and the keyboard separately, and that just adds to the problem. No doubt if you’re a regular laptop user you’ve seen your chiropractor for pain in your neck, shoulders or back. Your chiropractor may be able to help you with your aches and pains, but they can’t help your laptop to be easier on your back. But, there are some things you can do to help reduce the damage your laptop may be doing.
The Set Up
When you’re setting up your laptop in order to work you should make sure it is set up in a way that:
- Does not make you look down or bend your head forward.
- Encourages a relaxed and supported back.
- Does not make you hunch over or slump your shoulders.
- Allows you to keep your elbows close to your body and bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
- Does not make you bend your wrists when typing.
If you use your laptop for more than an hour at a time you also need to make sure the top of the screen is at eye level.
Taking Your Laptop with You
Even the lightest laptop can be a problem to lug around if you’re doing it wrong. You need to reduce the stress you are placing on your body by taking it with you by carrying it in a backpack to more evenly distribute the weight; if you don’t have a backpack, you should change the side you carry it on frequently.
It’s the little things you are doing that can add up to big problems when you see your chiropractor, so make sure you take small steps to keep your body healthy as you work on the go. You should also never hesitate to ask your chiropractor for tips to help you keep your back healthy.