Most problems related to laptop usage could be easily avoided by acquiring a height adjustable laptop stand and a separate mouse and keyboard when you first purchase your laptop.
I recently had first hand experience of laptop problems myself. My old desktop computer broke down at the end of June and I ended up purchasing a sleek new 15.6” HP Pavilion Notebook. I thought my new laptop would be comfortable enough to use if I attached my old keyboard and mouse to it (I hate touch pads because the cursor always goes wild).
I was wrong. Soon after I started using my new laptop, my tension headaches made a comeback. When I started observing my posture I realized I was constantly craning my neck because the display was always at a slightly wrong height.
I experimented with several arrangements before I found a way to raise the laptop at the right height. It’s still very annoying when I want to use my notebook on a sofa or on my bed (What happened to mobile lifestyle?).
Two Tips for Pain Free Laptop Usage
#1: Use a Height Adjustable Desktop Stand
To prevent tension headaches and neck pains, get yourself a height adjustable laptop stand like the one pictured on the left (Xbrand XB-1001). The XB-1001 model has four different height positions and it can be used with an external keyboard and mouse. Raising the laptop on the stand also helps keep the laptop cool.
You should position the stand so that the screen is at the eye level or slightly below. Also check your distance from the display: if you have difficulty seeing the text, increase the font size so you won’t be tempted to crane your neck to better see the text.
#2: Check for the “Forward Head” Posture
Even the best ergonomic equipment doesn’t help in the face of stubborn bad habits. The worst bad habit is perhaps the so called forward head posture.
In a forward head posture your neck is craned forward so that it hangs in front of the shoulder line. This position burdens the muscles at the back of your neck and shoulders and is the cause of many headaches and muscle tensions.
You should regularly check you neck posture when you work and correct it simply by retracting your neck back so that it’s tall and your ears are in line with your shoulders. You probably have to repeat this quite often.
TIP: A Good way to keep reminded about your neck posture is to start observing the people around you to spot all the forward head postures. You can also rate their degree of severity on a scale from 1 to 5 (1=like a queen, 5=practically a dowager hump)!
P.S.What makes the XBrand XB-1001 height adjustable laptop stand so great is that it has four different height positions. All members of the same household are able to use the same laptop without a big hassle.
*Image credit: skatoolaki@flickr