Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

8.24.2010

In the News: Keep Laptop-itis Under Ctrl

8.24.2010
Hours spent hunched over your laptop may be useful when it comes to studying, but all that laptop use could lead to long-term health problems. A new report from the UNC School of Medicine has coined the term 'laptop-itis' to describe the poor posture, aches, pains, and discomfort associated with laptop use.

While laptops are convenient, they are not designed with ergonomics in mind. Because the screen and keyboard are within such close proximity, your posture tends to suffer. Either your shoulders and back become hunched, your wrists extended, or your eyes are too far/close to the screen. These can lead to muscle pains, carpal tunnel, or headaches.

If you use a laptop, look into investing in a docking station that allows you to set the screen at an angle that won't cause discomfort to your neck or eyes. Buy a comfortable adjustable chair and practice good posture. Take breaks to stretch and and drink plenty of water to ease muscle and joint pain. Taking these precautions will help to reduce the symptoms of laptop-itis before it mega-hertz!

1 comments:

Nathan said...

"While laptops are convenient, they are not designed with ergonomics in mind."

They were never intended to be used as a main computer either. But, as is often the case with technology, they came down in price and became available to the vast majority as opposed to a select few. The same thing happened with mobile phones.

Laptops are here to stay, but there are ways in which you can make them a bit easier on your body. An external mouse and keyboard can make all the difference, so can a laptop stand. But as well as that, working habits need to change. Working on the go has become something of a way of life, instead of just something that's done as and when necessary. You see people working away in airports, on trains etc and I don't imagine that their necks and wrists are thanking them for it. Of course, everyone will have the occasional work crisis, and that's what a laptop's for. But before you fire up that laptop, it's always worth asking yourself if it can wait. And answer honestly. What would happen if you waited until you got home or to the office?

Often, the answer will be that nothing will happen. And if that's the case, there's no need to be using the laptop.