Ergonomics is the art of fitting a job to a person instead of twisting and contorting the person to fit the job. The recently increased focus on employee rights and workplace safety has brought ergonomics into the highlight, and people are making an active effort to ensure their bodies get the right support they need to perform at their very best.
Our world is now seeing an increase in hybrid work cultures and WFH opportunities. While offering ease and convenience for workers around the globe, this has also led to an increase in musculoskeletal diseases, eye fatigue, and other injuries associated with poor ergonomics.
So, if you're wondering what you can do to make an ergonomic laptop station anywhere, you're at the right place! Let's find out.
Tips to Create an Ergonomic Laptop Setup
Carefully Consider the Screen and Keyboard
Some of the essential components to make an ergonomic laptop station anywhere are the screen and your keyboard. Both of these computer parts work together to affect your posture on a daily basis and can be quite damaging to your spine if they aren't set correctly.
A good posture for using your laptop requires you to stay in a neutral position. Your eyes should be looking straight again without having to strain. Moreover, you should be able to view the entire laptop screen without having to tilt your head or look up/down.
The best way to ensure that your body maintains a neutral position while working anywhere is by adjusting the height of your desk. Since your desk holds the laptop, its height naturally determines the level of the laptop screen. So, you need the desk's height to be such that it allows the screen to be perfectly aligned at your eye level. You also need to ensure that the laptop is placed at least an arm's length away from you.
Your arms are also a part of the neutral body position and need to be adjusted accordingly. Your keyboard should be set in a way that your elbows are at 90*, and they rest comfortably on your chair's armrests. If you find yourself unable to type well in this position, consider attaching an external keyboard to your laptop for the best ergonomics.
Buy a Mouse Wrist Cushion
Whether you choose to use your laptop's touchpad or attach an external mouse, your thumb and fingers will be in constant motion. This can cause the muscles on your hand to become tired, overworked, and sore. It can lead to pain not just around your thumb and fingers but in your entire forearm. The pain can even make its way to your shoulders and be a truly unpleasant thing to endure.
That is why you need to consider proper ergonomics for your mouse as well. This is especially true for people who make frequent use of the mouse, like graphic designers, gamers, etc.
The best way to handle the mouse situation when you're figuring out how to create an ergonomic laptop setup is by using a mouse wrist cushion. These cushions are designed to reduce the pressure on your wrist while also adding extra comfort for those long hours of work.
You can also consider investing in an ergonomic, vertical mouse. This is the slightly pricier option and can take some time to get used to since it feels rather awkward at first. But an ergonomic mouse changes your hand position entirely as you work, ensuring maximum comfort for your wrists. You might find the price point worth the benefits it offers!
Invest in an Ergonomic Chair
An essential part of maintaining the right posture while you work is checking your spine's position. Your spine is the backbone of comfortable working, pun intended. The best way to ensure your spine is positioned in the best way as you make an ergonomic laptop station anywhere is by investing in the right chair.
Your ergonomic chair should come with lumbar support. This means that it should curve naturally to offer maximum spinal support. Moreover, your chair should also have cushioned armrests and a heavy-duty frame to support you properly.
This Big and Tall Reclining Executive Office Chair with Footrest 290 from FlexiSpot is one of the best ergonomic chairs in the market currently. If you are having difficulty finding a reclining desk chair, if you are a big & tall guy FlexiSpot have got a big & tall computer chair with footrest for you! The office chair recliner is here to help you dream big! Unlike any other cheaply-made reclining office chair with footrest, the desk chair is designed with high weight capacity, ready to withstand up to 350 lbs.
With the adjustable built-in lumbar support of the desk chair with foot rest. The curved, adjustable cushion was designed to fit perfectly on your lower back and offer you maximum comfort and support. Move the thick cushion to meet your needs and kiss the pain away. The high back executive chair comes with an adjustable back angle and it can securely lock at any angle between 90-135 degrees.
Maintain the Correct Posture for Your Feet
The correct body posture doesn't just end with your arms and spine; your feet also need to be placed right to maintain a neutral body position. The best work posture requires both of your feet to be placed firmly on flat ground. This ensures that your body weight is evenly distributed across your hips and legs.
Therefore, if you work in high-heeled shoes, it is best to remove them if you will be working on your computer for long hours. Opt for flat shoes in the office or at your home workstation. If your feet can't reach the ground, you can set up a footrest to support your feet. Make sure that your footrest is adjusted to allow your thighs to be at 90* against your calves.
P.S. Do your best to ensure you don't work with your legs crossed. This reduces blood flow to your legs, and you end up with numb feet.
Adjust the Brightness of Your Screen
Working with your laptop screen on high brightness can be the cause eye fatigue, dryness, and discomfort. It is actually a recipe for disaster, and you will eventually notice excessive muscle strain on certain parts of your face along with regularly occurring headaches.
All of this can be easily avoided by a simple change in your laptop's settings. The best way to determine whether your laptop's screen is too bright is by turning off the lights in your workspace. Is your laptop's screen acting as a light source? If yes, it is way too bright and should be dimmed down. Lower the brightness level and change the color of your screen to warmer tones of yellow. These are gentle on the eyes, unlike harsh white lights, which can damage your cornea.
Ensure Proper Room Lighting
Ergonomics experts agree that good lighting is an essential part of creating an ergonomic workstation. When your workspace is lit up properly, it reduces the strain on your eyes. It also helps you avoid craning your neck at awkward angles to be able to see the screen well.
The best lighting for your workspace is natural light. So, you should draw back the curtains and let the light stream onto your desk. Try to place your desk in a position where it receives maximum light without causing glare on your laptop's screen.
Also, add some overhead lighting to your workspace, along with artfully placed task lighting for the best balance.
Grab Some Stress-Reducing Supplies
While ergonomic tools are a great way to reduce stress on your body while you work, there are some simple items that can have a significant effect as well.
If you work in a high-stress environment, keep a squeezable stress ball nearby. It will help your mind relax and refocus so you can perform at your best. Essential oil diffusers can also help relax your mind and body. If you work in a noisy environment, carry noise-blocking headphones with you so you can focus well without any interruptions. Even a small accessory like a desk plant or some succulents can offer you a change of scenery from the files and spreadsheets that you have been working on all day.
Be Sure to Take Regular Breaks
Set reminders on your phone or laptop to take regular breaks from work. By regular, we mean following the rule of taking a break after every 60-90 minutes of work at the very least. Numerous studies and reports have shown that people perform at their very best when they receive the opportunity to take a 17-minute break after every 52 minutes of work. We understand that these are very precise timings, and you can't just drop everything to take a break as soon as the 52 minutes of work have passed.
However, you can set alarms to remind you that your time to take a break is approaching. While it may seem like a waste of precious time to some, taking regular breaks has actually been shown to boost productivity and allow your cognitions to work better. These breaks allow your brain some time to take a breather, so it can come back sharper and more focused on the tasks at hand.
Instead of slowly dragging yourself through 8 hours of non-stop work, try to take breaks every now and then. You will instantly notice a change in how quickly you get work done, and with better results too!