Laptop Ergonomics

Laptops were designed for portability and convenience, not for ergonomics. According to our 2005 RSI survey, a number of our injured grads developed problems while using laptops.

From MIT's Adaptive Technology for Information and Computing (ATIC) lab:

"Detachable keyboards are a fundamental requirement for an ergonomically acceptable workstation. Laptop computer screens are also typically smaller and of lesser quality than stand alone monitors. Many are more prone to glare, and adjusting the screen to an optimal position is often not possible without moving the keyboard to an unacceptable position for typing. The fact that a laptop keyboard and monitor do not adjust independently of one another forces a user to choose between comfortable hand/wrist or head/neck posture. This puts the laptop user into awkward or unhealthy postures which may lead to short- and/or long-term discomfort or injury.

In addition, transporting a laptop can present another strain on our bodies. The American Medical Association recommends that no more than 15% of a person's body weight should be carried or strapped on for transport. Add the laptop weight to other items you are carrying around and calculate the percentage of your weight you are hauling!"

If you use a laptop on a regular basis, use these tips to mimic a desktop set up:

Using a laptop while traveling, or in a temporary location: