Student laptops are a pain in the neck!

If you have a desk job and work at a computer 40 hours a week, you have likely evaluated the ergonomics of your workspace. You have made sure your chair, desk, and monitor are at the correct height and may even have had someone else ensure that your workstation is ergonomically friendly.

Laptop users sit in ergonomically compromised positions

The average student who spends nearly as much time on the computer as a full-time office worker likely does not have a computer that is ergonomically efficient, they are not provided with a desk or chair of the appropriate height, and often choose to slump with their laptops on the couch, bed or even on the floor. Recent studies have determined that 75.8% of students own a laptop as opposed to a desktop computer. Additionally, the majority of students spend between 16 and 22 hours a week on their laptops, with 10 percent of students exceeding 40 hours a week. Unlike the desktop of yesteryear laptops were not designed for ergonomic purposes as much as they were built to be light weight, space saving, and easily transportable- features that are very appealing to suit the student life.

Improper laptop use leads to poor posture in students

Using the laptop improperly can force the head downwards and cause a rounding of the back in order to see the screen properly, and often forces the shoulder upwards to ease the reach to the keyboard. Both of these distorted body positions can result in poor posture and an abnormal alignment of the spine.  When the different bones of the spine are not aligned properly with one segment directly on top of the one below it, the nerves that run between these bones will not be able to work to their full potential. The disruption of nerve function in the spine can cause overactive muscle contraction, what we perceive as tight or sore muscles. More profoundly, the nervous system interference can also lead to difficulty concentrating, a feeling of fatigue and even mood disturbances.

At The Posture Clinic, Dr. Guy Bahar, The Posture Doc, sees more and more students being affected by their long term improper use of laptops each day. To prevent poor posture in the student in your lifeCorrect Laptop Positioning

The Posture Doc recommends:
  • Eye Level: The monitor should be at eye level  just as it should be with a desktop
  • Arm positioning:  The lower arm should form a 90 degree angle with the upper arm when typing on the keyboard.  With the keyboard and screen attached, it is recommended that you work at a desk, elevate the laptop to raise the screen to eye level using books and plug in an additional keyboard that can be used at desk level.
  • Chair height: Ensure that you have a good chair for your height, meaning that your feet can be easily planted on the ground with your back comfortably flush with the back of the chair.

Dr. Guy Bahar is The Posture Doc., a Chiropractor with offices in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Toronto, Ontario and Oakville, Ontario.  Dr. Bahar specializes in correcting poor posture. His unique Posture Training Method corrects poor posture and improves forward head posture. See our amazing New Patient Special and find out what your posture number is today!