Now that teleworking is the order of the day, many users use a laptop for it. They are very functional devices and in many cases powerful, but if you have to use a laptop for 8 hours a day every day you will notice that there is a great difference in ergonomics compared to doing it with a desktop PC. For this reason we ask the question, can working with a laptop cause health problems ? Let’s see it.
A laptop allows us to work, play or watch movies and series lying on the sofa, but this is somewhat circumstantial because it is unfeasible to maintain these positions for 8 hours a day, five days a week, which is what happens when you need to work with the. Obviously you can work “at times” on the sofa, then go to the table, or even on the floor, but can this cause problems for your health?
The ergonomics of the laptop, a health risk?
Obviously working with the laptop on the knees, on the floor or on the armrest of the sofa is not ergonomic and in a short time it will end up causing pain in your back, neck and wrists, so we are not going to evaluate this. We are going to assess what happens when you have a laptop to work and use it as it is supposed to be done: on a table.
For starters, when you use the laptop on the table and logically sitting in a chair, keep in mind that the position of the laptop screen will be almost flush with the table, which means that you will have to tilt the screen to view it correctly. In addition to this, you will have to be looking down all the time, which could effectively cause cervical and back problems , even if you have an ergonomic chair.
Ideally, the screen we are going to be working on is at eye level (in fact, experts recommend that the upper half of the screen be at eye level), and this is something we will not be able to achieve with a laptop unless we put an elevator .
On the other hand, in terms of input devices (keyboard and touchpad), they are designed to take up as little space as possible because after all, we are dealing with a laptop. For this reason, the position of the hands and specifically of the wrists will be forced, at an angle that is not natural and that in many cases produces the famous Carpal tunnel syndrome. On the other hand, the touchpad that is generally in the center forces us back to an unnatural posture of the hand, not to mention how inefficient it is if you have to be using it all day.
Many of you can say that with an elevator support you kill two birds with one stone: you elevate the position of the laptop screen and also put the keyboard in a more comfortable position, and it’s true, but you still have the problem of keyboard width, which It will force you to have your arms at an unnatural angle and that, after a few hours, will end up causing you pain, tiredness and at the least discomfort.
In short, working with a laptop can cause health problems, especially due to the position of the screen, the size of the keyboard and the position of the touchpad, all of which can be very good for short periods but not for working many hours a day, every day.
How to avoid these health problems?
Unfortunately, to avoid these health problems caused by working a lot with laptops, we should invest some money, and the ideal is to “turn the laptop into a desktop PC”. This means acquiring at least an external monitor , a keyboard and a mouse , since this is how we could have an ergonomically correct posture when using this type of device, thus minimizing damage to health.
In fact, the ideal would be to have a docking station, since these devices would already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse always connected and it would be simply a matter of coupling the laptop to the docking when we want to use it, being able to disconnect it to take it where we need it when we need it.
We are really talking about a considerable investment (although there are 40 euros that would be enough), but if you are forced to work many hours a day with a laptop and want to avoid health problems, it is certainly a good investment.