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:
- Use a full-sized keyboard and mouse whenever possible. Simply attach these devices to your laptop and position them appropriately.
- 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.
- Maintain an arm’s length distance between the screen and your eyes to avoid eyestrain.
- Maintain a straight spine by keeping shoulders, hips and ears aligned.
- Keep your wrists straight while typing, and position the keyboard at elbow height.
- Make sure your hips are slightly higher than your knees when seated at a desk.
- Do not rest your wrists or palms on the table while typing. Instead, keep them straight.
- Take short breaks and stretch every 20 to 30 minutes to allow your body to recover from any strains.
- Never allow a loose laptop battery to come into contact with metal objects, such as jewellery or keys.
- 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.