Carolina: Are you suffering from backache, sore arms and neck? It could be the result of long hours you spend in front of your laptop, say experts.
Because of the way the computers are designed, using a laptop almost inevitably leads to poor posture, said Kevin Carneiro from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
Typing can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome, an injury to the nerve that passes through the wrist.
Carneiro said that your body should form 90-degree angles at your elbows, knees and hips. And your eyes should look straight ahead at the top third of the screen.
But because the keyboard and monitor are combined in a laptop, they can’t be positioned independently for typing and viewing.
That means having to make a trade off of some sort.
One solution is to use a docking station that either links a laptop to another monitor and keyboard or to a stand that raises the screen to a higher level.
You can also use a FireWire or USB cable to connect your laptop to an extra monitor or keyboard, which you can then adjust to the proper height.
Other tips: Check the weight of the laptop and other accessories since you will be carrying them along with books.
Obtain an adjustable chair with back support
Position your laptop such that you don’t have to bend your neck to see the screen.
Set up your mouse so that your wrist is in a neutral position.
Take short breaks every 20 minutes and exercise lightly.
Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water keeps the discs in your back lubricated and healthy, Carneiro said.
Most importantly, watch out for the signs - a neck and shoulder pain, headaches at the top of your head, wrist pain or tingling in your fingers, particularly in your thumb.