For how long can I use my laptop?

A laptop is easy to carry around with you and use wherever you go, but it doesn’t meet the ergonomic requirements for intensive computer work. That can increase your chances of developing RSI-related problems.

Why doesn’t a laptop meet these requirements?

There are three specific risks:

  1. The most important: the screen is attached to the keyboard. This puts the screen in a position that is too low, forcing you to bend forward more. This extra strain on your neck can cause muscle and joint problems.

  2. The keyboard on a laptop is more compact than a normal keyboard. That results in less room available for correctly placing your hands and fingers. This can lead to pain in your wrists and hands.

  3.  The screen is (often) smaller, making it harder to read. That can give you weary, burning eyes.

How can a laptop be made compliant?

Limit your work on a laptop to two hours a day. If you must work longer, then convert your laptop into a computer work station. Hook up a separate keyboard and mouse to the laptop. Place the laptop screen at eye level, or better yet: attach the laptop to a good computer monitor. In that way you can create a full-fledged computer work station that you yourself can set up with the ideal configuration.

Last Modified: 05-03-2015