Avoiding Neck Problems While Working from Home
April 26, 2021
The majority of employees nowadays are working from home due to the pandemic. Most of them prefer laptops because it is portable and easy to setup. But what about the desk where to work on? Chances are they are using the kitchen or living table. Ergonomics should not be forgotten for the sake of a paycheck.
It must be practice at home as well. Just because the environment is different from the office setting, it should not be thrown out. In fact, the chances of having back and health problems increase in the home where you are most comfortable.
Here are some tips to get better ergonomics while at home working on your laptop:
Take the laptop off your lap
Even though it’s called a laptop, you might not want it on top of your lap. This often lets you slouch down and sticking out your head forward to see the screen, pressuring the cervical spine with extra pounds of pressure. If working without a desk—lie commuting, for example—try placing the laptop on the computer bag or briefcase to elevate the screen.
Raise the screen higher
The ideal laptop height and angle can let you view the screen easily without bending your neck. Elevate the laptop a few inches above the desk, placing it on a stable support surface. Like a laptop stand or a pile of thick books. Your eyes will see the top third of your screen when looking straight ahead.
Utilize a wireless keyboard and mouse or purchase an external screen/monitor
When you working for an extended period of time, it’s best to do one of two things:
First, use a wireless keyboard and mouse and position the laptop screen at eye level or
Second, use an external monitor at eye level and position your laptop keyboard that allows your shoulders and arms to relax. Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle, close to your body, and your wrists are in a neutral position when typing. This posture keeps you from rounding your shoulders and pulling your neck muscles.
Upsize the screen size
Laptops are designed to be portable and easy-to-use, but make sure the laptop’s screen is big enough for your needs. A smaller screen can cause you to strain in order to see text and objects. If you are hunching forward to read from your screen, increase the font size.
Put the feet up
When raising your chair to position your arms and wrists comfortably, see how your legs are angled. The feet should be flat on the floor, and knees at an even height with your hips. If the hips are too high or your feet can’t reach the floor, use a footrest to support the bottom of the feet. This helps maintain a neutral lumbar spine and lessen the strain on your lower back.
Get an ergonomic chair
The chair you will be sitting on while using your laptop is important. Any chair that is fully adjustable and has lumbar support can be used as an ergonomic chair, but it must be set up correctly. If the chair does not have the proper support, use a lumbar roll. Sit all the way back in the chair against it. The lumbar support maintains the natural curve of the lower back. As for the neck and head position, the ears should always be above the shoulders and not in front.
Set an alarm on your phone to take a break every half hour or so. Take your eyes off the screen and let them look at something else in the distance. Do simple stretches at your desk, like stretching your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs. Once every hour, leave the desk to walk around to get some circulation going and muscles loose. If it not possible to walk, try standing, stretch and move. Humans are meant to be moving all the time and not being sedentary all day.
If you are one of the people who spend long hours working on laptops, spend an hour or two each day using your laptop while standing rather than sitting down. Use a wireless keyboard, mouse, and a multilevel setup to complete the setup without straining your neck. The use of a laptop standing desk converter can make any table become a standing desk. They are good substitutes for the traditional desks. Desktop converters also can enable you to keep your desk and convert it to a standup desk temporarily.
The AlcoveRiser Standing Desk Converters M7MB - 35" is an excellent example. They can be purchased from Flexispot.com
When traveling your laptop between work and home, get a spare power cord and other laptop accessories. This removes the hassle of carrying the extra load back and forth. A backpack with dual-padded shoulder straps is a good idea to avoid draping the bag over just one shoulder. If it feels too heavy, a roll-along carrier is a better alternative.
Consider a posture app
Take advantage of the technology by using your laptop to check your posture and give you helpful tips. Many posture apps are available for Mac and PC that can perform various functions, including:
Using your laptop camera to monitor your posture and alert you when to sit up straighter.
Remind you when to take breaks.
Giving health tips through simple stretches and exercises at your desk.
All these tips will help you get a better life and a healthy body while working on your laptop. The final decision on whether to follow these tips or create your own regimen is entirely up to you. What is important that that you maintain a healthy life so when retirement comes, you can enjoy it more robustly.
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