Many people like the convenience of a laptop. However, contrary to what its name implies, using the laptop while it’s sitting in your actual lap is something you should avoid unless you’re traveling on a train or airplane and have little choice. Working with a laptop in your lap can hurt your posture.
For an idea of what your posture looks like with a laptop in your lap, watch someone else doing the same. You’ll see their shoulders are held at awkward angles, and their back is rounded out and potentially slumping forward. This is not a healthy way to sit, especially for extended periods of time.
One of the best things you can do is treat your laptop like a desktop. Set it on your desk or at the dining room table. Then choose a chair that is of the correct height so you don’t have to lean forward in order to type or to see the screen.
When you can, sit at a desk. Set your laptop in a docking station and use a mouse. While there is a touchpad on the laptop, the mouse will help you with the overall ergonomics. If you are constantly using just what is on the laptop, you may have the tendency to hold yourself too tight. Reaching over for the mouse is a way to round out your shoulders and relax a little bit more.
It can also help to increase the zoom on the screen. By making the text larger, you will not have to sit so close. If you find yourself moving closer and closer to the screen, you have lost your flat back and the position that is the healthiest for you.
Making a few changes to the way you use your laptop can help your posture and thus help you reduce lower back pain as well as pain in your shoulders and neck. If you have been using your laptop on your lap for a while now, you may have already begun to feel the pain. The good news is that visiting a chiropractor can help to undo the damage that has already been done.
Depending upon the level of pain that you are experiencing and the initial consultation, x-rays may be taken. This can help the chiropractor to see what is going on and then establish a treatment plan moving forward.
Once you’re on the mend, you can make a semi-permanent move for your laptop to be used like a desktop so you can improve your posture now and for the rest of your life.
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