Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Is your laptop a pain in the neck?

There have been several articles recently about neck and wrist problems when using laptops. This article seem to describe the problem with greater simplicity and clarity:

"When you look at the design, laptops were never (meant) as a replacement for a desktop computer," said Alan Hedge, director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University. "The idea was portability for occasional use. It was never intended to be a machine you would work at for eight hours a day, 52 weeks a year."

The main problem with laptops is that the screen and keyboard are so close together. Without the aid of peripherals, laptop users have two choices, neither of which would win them any points for posture. They can cramp their neck down to view the monitor or they can elevate the machine to eye level, which can wreak havoc on shoulders and arms.

And the wrists lose regardless, because the keyboard is so small, leading to awkward hand positioning.

"These are all recipes for disaster for your body, and your musculoskeletal system especially," said Nicholas DiNubile, an orthopedic surgeon in Havertown, Penn., a Philadelphia suburb. " continued ... (Via ZDNet)

Laptop Ergonomics - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

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