Laptops Are A Pain In The Neck... And Back... And Shoulders

from the not-so-good-for-you dept

With more and more people ditching desktop computers for laptops, people are beginning to realize the ergonomic disaster of laptop computers. It's not just the damage done lugging them around (though, that does contribute to it), but there's almost no good ergonomic way to use a laptop computer, because the keyboard is too close to the screen, meaning you're doing damage to some part of your body, no matter how you set up. That means that people in their twenties are having skeletal problems that used to only show up with those in their fifties -- which is a pretty serious problem for many. Some laptop makers (and accessory makers) are finally looking at ways to address the problem, but in the mean time, many of us are stuck hunched over our laptops, waiting for our backs to give out.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

    Danno, Apr 12th, 2005 @ 9:02pm

    The Solution is simple

    Everyone should use Tablets!

    Nah, that's not practical for everything, but the majority of computer use would benefit from tablet computing!


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    dorpus, Apr 12th, 2005 @ 9:42pm

    What if computers cause autism?

    The incidence of autism has been undergoing exponential increases worldwide since the advent of computers. Since our genes did not suddenly change in the past 20 years, researchers have been looking for environmental causes (diet, vaccines), and have so far come up empty. What about computers, hmm...


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    gaw, Apr 12th, 2005 @ 10:10pm

    External input devices

    The touch pad thing doesn't help things either... The index finger can only take so much "push/drag/tap" before it screams for mercy.
    Wireless keyboards and external trackballs can help, but that's just another umpteen ounces of stuff to drag around.


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    me, Apr 13th, 2005 @ 6:06am

    OH COME ON!!

    First, every brittle betty bitched and moaned about desktops, so we had a flurry of ergo-nuts swarming over everything with tape measures, wrist casts, and posture charts, telling people to take 15min breaks every 10min..(way to kill any work getting done).
    NOW that we have nice light laptops that we can easily move to ANY POSITION WE's STILL not good enough somehow.
    The article itself is just a FUD piece from;
    -Tom Albin of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, a national think tank
    -ergonomics guru Tamara James
    -researcher Carolyn Sommerich of the Institute of Ergonomics
    -chiropractor David Schwartz
    -James, the Duke University ergonomist
    ...I mean, you can cut the quackery with a knife. (ergonomics GURU?!? ergonomist?!!...please...I guess the 'scientician' classes were full)
    Gee, could it be that an easily moveable laptop/tablet would COMPLETELY ELIMINATE all this hypochondria about 'ergonomics' and these goofballs would have to get a real job??
    Guess what...if you're hunched over a laptop...SIT UP STRAIGHT!! THE FREAKN SCREEN TILTS BACK!!


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    Mike, Apr 13th, 2005 @ 6:09am

    ummm...ever heard of a docking station?

    just plug it into a docking station hooked to a KVM and use a real keyboard and monitor when you're at your desk. I had a laptop at a previous job and this setup at the office and at home, so I almost never sat crouched over squinting at the screen. Even if I count travel usage, I spent 90% of the time on a normal keyborad and monitor. If your boss is too cheap to buy you one, get one yourself. It's well worth it.


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    thecaptain, Apr 14th, 2005 @ 5:21am

    Re: OH COME ON!!

    I'm with you.

    The whole point of a laptop is that you can use it anywhere and everywhere. If you find your wrist or back is sore...MOVE...

    I love to surf in bed before going to sleep when between novels...laptop propped on my chest, mouse to my side. I play videogames with my wife, usually lying on the floor comfy with pillows to prop myself up a bit (she prefers couch with it on her lap).


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2005 @ 9:29am

    Re: OH COME ON!!

    That article is a load of shit.
    I would NEVER go back to a desktop (except @ work) again !
    At home its wireless, movable & I can sit anywhere I want in any position I want.

    The people in that article are quacks.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    Dan, May 22nd, 2006 @ 11:56am

    Re: What if computers cause autism?

    Hiya. I'm the father of an autistic child (now 5 years old). It's true that the causes of autism -- and the way it continues to act in the brain and body -- are poorly understood, and probably varied. Because of this, efforts to discover effective treatments and preventions for autism are handicapped. The increase in the number of computers, as you postulate, MAY have had an effect, though it would likely be a less direct one: discarded computers, their batteries, and discarded ink cartridges contributing to an unhealthy environment for developing fetuses and young infants. More likely, the increasing incidence of autism is caused by a marked rise in a LOT of unhealthy things. TIME Magazine's May 15 issue has a great snapshot of current thinking in autism.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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