Even though the summer break has just begun, you know that back-to-school is just around the corner. If you or someone you know is headed off to college, here’s some good news: they don’t have to sacrifice ergonomics!
Laptops are great for students, because you can work just about anywhere—at your desk, the coffee shop, or the lecture hall. Unfortunately, a laptop isn’t the greatest choice when it comes to ergonomics; you can’t adjust the height of the keyboard and screen separately as you can with a desktop.
Ergonomic Monitor Stand
People tend to hunch over when working on a laptop, which can lead to eye strain, muscle strain, and pain in the upper back, neck, shoulders, hands, wrists, and arms. You can help improve the ergonomics of your laptop by using an ergonomic monitor stand, which allows you to raise and lower the height of your laptop to maintain better ergonomic posture while you use it.
Using a monitor stand can be helpful if you alternate between sitting and standing while working while using your computer. Your monitor should be positioned directly in front of you, and the center of the screen should be at eye level. A monitor that’s positioned too low makes you tilt your chin down, and a monitor that’s placed too high makes you tilt your chin up. A monitor that’s off to one side makes you turn your head and neck while you’re using the computer.
Did you know that you can use a laptop stand as a textbook holder? Many laptop stands are as lightweight and portable as the laptop itself, which means you can easily carry it around with you from class to class, and use it to hold your textbook while you work.
Most laptop stands are quite versatile: depending on the type you choose, you may be able to use it at your desk, on a coffee table, or in bed—and anywhere in between.
Combining the Two
Of course you can also use a laptop stand to hold your laptop—not just as a textbook holder. When you use a laptop stand along with a monitor stand, you can create an adjustable height sit-to-stand desk that improves ergonomics and can help reduce aches, pains, and musculoskeletal disorders.
If you use your laptop with an external monitor, raising the laptop to a similar height as your monitor will help prevent eyestrain and neck pain. If you don’t use an external keyboard, and type on your laptop, a laptop stand will help you position your laptop to be at a height that is somewhere between the ideal monitor height (center of the screen at eye level) and the ideal keyboard height (elbow height).