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Laptop Hazards and Tips on Ergonomic Use

Added: (Tue Aug 28 2007)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Rise in the laptop sales and increase in the number of people complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain is no coincidence. Chiropractors and physiotherapists, who have been monitoring the situation for quite sometime, observe that one must be very cautious while using laptops. Wrong posture and continuous use for hours at a stretch can have damaging and irreversible losses on human body.

Musculoskeletal Problems
‘Laptops’ – the name implies that the machine can be placed on laps, but doctors feel otherwise. It has been noticed that people who are constantly on the move tend to perch laptops on their laps, this according to chiropractors’ leads to a bad posture as one tends to constantly look down. Prolonged sitting in this strained and unnatural posture is leading to chronic pain in neck, shoulder and back.

Besides, it has been observed that while holding notebooks on laps, one restricts the movement of legs to prevent laptop from falling. While the human body has a natural and built-in tendency to constantly squirm, stretch, turn, cross, and re-cross legs every few minutes. But with a heavy machine on top, movement of legs is severely restricted leading to physical discomfort.

Another alarming hazard of laptop has been observed on the wrist and fingers. Keyboard of the laptop is comparative smaller, putting more strain on the wrists and finger muscles.

Damaging Effects on Male Fertility
Laptop is a cool electronic gadget but men must realize that the machine heats up on constant use! Studies show that balancing a notebook on the lap increases the temperature of the scrotum, which is known to have negative impact on sperm production. According to doctors, body needs to maintain a proper testicular temperature for normal sperm production and development. Though the change in the temperature might be reversible, doctors fear that prolonged use of laptop close to the body might have long lasting damaging effects.

Using Laptops Ergonomically
To enjoy all the advantages of laptops without having any harmful effects on the body, one needs to take care and caution. Chiropractors emphasize that one must keep changing working positions throughout the day. For instance one may make small adjustments to chair or backrest or stretch fingers, hands, arms and torso. Standing up and walking around for a few minutes periodically are strongly advised.

Chiropractors also suggest using a few add-ons with laptop to use them more ergonomically. Placing the notebook on a portable laptop-stand is a good idea as it helps to raise the laptop screen to the right level and type comfortably. It is also advisable to use external mouse and keyboard with the laptop as this reduces tension from the arm and shoulder muscles.

While purchasing a laptop go in for a lighter option as would mean less pressure on your legs. Besides, a well-spaced keyboard (without numeric pad) may reduce strain from your arms and wrists.

Submitted by:Ruchi Khurana
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