Laptop Ergonomics While Working Remotely
Working on a laptop for prolonged periods during the day can cause discomfort in several areas of your body depending on your position and the repetitiveness of the task. Here are a few tips to make your remote work location as comfortable as possible.
Screen position: When your laptop is placed on the desk, the screen position will place your upper back/neck into a flexed position to view the screen. To improve positioning, raise your laptop screen to eye level and use books, boxes, etc., under the laptop to hold the screen in place. You will then need to use an external keyboard and mouse on the desk.
Keyboard/arm position: Find a chair and table that allows your arms to rest comfortably by your side, while your upper arm and forearm are at a 90-degree angle. Pull the keyboard and mouse close to the desk edge to minimize reaching.
Chair: If your chair leans too far back, place a pillow between your upper back and chair to support your upper back. For your low back, a rolled-up towel or small cushion can be placed between the chair and your lower back to support your lumbar curve.
Foot support: Ensure your feet are supported firmly on the ground. If your feet are dangling, place a footrest or a box under your feet. If your feet are on the floor and your knees are too high (higher than your hips) use a taller chair or sit on a cushion to raise your torso.
Move: Although important all year long, it is especially important to move during the day when your office ergonomics are not ideal. Set an alarm for every 20 minutes to remind yourself to stand, walk and do a few stretches. Download an ergonomics app on your phone or set these reminders in your outlook calendar or phone.
Please see the following videos for additional information on home office set-up tips while using a laptop:
For additional ergonomics information please visit https://www.uoguelph.ca/hr/managers/ergonomics