Friday, May 18, 2007

Laptop Ergonomics 101

Avoiding ergonomic problems from a necessarily bad design ...

"Whether you're an occasional notebook user or work on one all day, you're most likely putting yourself at risk for long-term aches and pains.

"Laptop design is necessarily constrained by the need to pack everything into a portable unit; the ergonomics can't be ideal; the ergonomics aren't ideal," said Dave Miller, ergonomist at United States Ergonomics.

In fact, laptops fail to meet one of the most important ergonomic requirements for PCs: that the screen and keyboard be at different heights. "Depending on position, you put yourself at risk for either neck strain, or shoulder, arm, and wrist injury," said Miller. As it is, it's impossible to position your laptop in a way that will allow for optimal comfort when both typing and viewing; you'll always have to sacrifice one component.

So does this mean we should stop using our laptops altogether? Thankfully, the answer is no. "With extra equipment," Miller said, "a laptop can be part of an ergonomic workstation, with the added flexibility of being taken on the road."

One of the best ways to make portable computing as pain-free as possible at home is to invest in an external, full-sized keyboard that will give you desktop-like flexibility. A detachable keyboard also allows you to type from a distance that's comfortable without forcing your eyes to be too close to the screen (a good viewing distance is about an arm's length away)."    (Continued via Laptop Magazine)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Laptop Ergonomics - Ergonomics

Laptop Ergonomics

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