10 Health and Safety Tips for Laptop Usage

The use of laptop computers simplifies work, improving workplace mobility, quality and productivity overall. However, overuse of laptops can increase your chance of injury.

For example, prolonged laptop use – the kind of use that often occurs in the workplace – can lead to eyestrain, muscle and joint pain, and shoulder, arm, wrist and hand injuries.

Thankfully, there are a number of precautions you can take in order to use computers safely, including the following:

  1. Use a full-sized keyboard and mouse whenever possible. Simply attach these devices to your laptop and position them appropriately.
  2. Prop the laptop up so that the screen is level with your eyes. This will help you avoid constantly hunching your back or looking down.
  3. Maintain an arm’s length distance between the screen and your eyes to avoid eyestrain.
  4. Maintain a straight spine by keeping shoulders, hips and ears aligned.
  5. Keep your wrists straight while typing, and position the keyboard at elbow height.
  6. Make sure your hips are slightly higher than your knees when seated at a desk.
  7. Do not rest your wrists or palms on the table while typing. Instead, keep them straight.
  8. Take short breaks and stretch every 20 to 30 minutes to allow your body to recover from any strains.
  9. Never allow a loose laptop battery to come into contact with metal objects, such as jewellery or keys.
  10. Be careful not to get the laptop or battery wet. Though they appear to dry over time, water can corrode the circuitry, posing a serious safety hazard to the user.
There’s a right way to use your mouse…
  • Don’t grip the mouse tightly – it creates tension in your fingers. Instead, hold it gently with your palm while lightly resting all of your fingers on it.
  • Avoid resting your forearm on your desk.
  • Move the mouse with your entire arm and shoulder, not just your wrist.

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