6 Essential Ergonomic Tips Every Laptop User Should Follow

Woman Working on Laptop
July 22, 2019
22 / 100

Despite the portability of laptops, there is one major issue almost every laptop suffers from – they simply aren’t very ergonomic.

Whether you’re working at your office or at a coffee shop, the small screen and low profile of a laptop forces you to slouch forward with your neck bent downwards, straining your neck, back, arms, and wrists. The end result is a world of pain in the long run.

Here are 6 simple ergonomic tips I tell all my clients that work on laptops. Let’s get started.

Don’t place the laptop on your lap

It’s natural to want to place your laptop on your lap when you’re sitting on a couch, armchair, or bed. Besides, isn’t that how they got their name?

Contrary to their name, laptops should never be placed on laps. When you sit in this position, no part of your body is ergonomically aligned. Your monitor is way below your eye level, and it’s not at an arm’s length away. Your keyboard is also not aligned with your arms and wrists. 

Worse even, laptops emit heat and radiation, and this can cause health effects over time. Swiss researchers from the University Hospital of Basel carried out a study to investigate the effect of the heat generated by laptops. They found that a hot laptop can lead to skin damage, which can later develop into skin cancer. 

Similarly, a study done by Fertility and Sterility found that placing it on your lap exposes your reproductive organs to dangerous waves. The result is a reduction in sperm motility.

Sit up straight

Have you ever heard of hunched over laptop syndrome? Yes, it’s a real thing. As its name suggests, it occurs when you hunch over for prolonged periods, causing tension in your back, neck and shoulders. Ultimately, the stress on these muscles becomes a chronic issue. 

As explained in this post published by Harvard Medical School, the correct posture when using a laptop and other tablet computers (like iPads) is to sit up straight. This means that your head should be level not tilting forward, and the top of your screen positioned slightly below eye level. If you’re sitting on a bed or couch, place a pillow behind your back for extra support. 

Invest in a laptop stand

6 Essential Ergonomic Tips Every Laptop User Should Follow 1

If you use a laptop for more than a couple of hours every day, a laptop stand is not just a nicety- it should be a necessity. This gadget elevates your laptop to the recommended ergonomic position, and helps properly align everything from your back and neck, to your arms and wrists as you interact with the laptop. 

According to Cornwell University, laptops present unique challenges when it comes to proper ergonomics due to the screen being too low. A laptop stand fixes this problem.

Use a separate keyboard

The ideal typing posture is where your elbows at bent at a 90 degree angle and your arms and wrists parallel to the keyboard. This helps encourage a neutral wrist posture to minimize the chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries (RSI).

Unfortunately, you cannot achieve with a laptop on its own, as the keyboard is attached to the screen, and it’s impossible to adjust the two independently.

This is why next to a laptop stand, an external keyboard is the most important accessory to pair up with a laptop for good ergonomics. It lets you position the keyboard closer to you, negatively tilt it, plus make any other adjustments needed to achieve the optimal typing angle. 

Use an external mouse 

6 Essential Ergonomic Tips Every Laptop User Should Follow 2

All laptops come with a trackpad, which while convenient, does force your wrist into a fixed position when using it.

From an ergonomic standpoint, alternating between postures  is always a good idea, such as switching between standing and sitting. This is why I always encourage people to use a separate mouse with their laptop from time to time.

A good ergonomic mouse is contoured to let you rest your hand and wrist, helping alleviate stress and fatigue associated with prolonged use. 

Take frequent breaks

You’ve heard this many times already, but I have to say it again. Prolonged sitting greatly increases one’s risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and metabolic syndromes.

Although there are different opinions on how long these breaks should last, most experts agree that a 5-minute break every hour or so is a good start. These breaks help to reduce eye fatigue as well as improve your concentration and energy levels.

Besides, there really is no point in working nonstop every day for 8 hours straight. According to experts, out of an 8 hour workday, we’re really only productive for about 3 hours. Frequent breaks or even meditation can actually help boost productivity.


Changing your habits when using a laptop is mostly a matter of awareness and choice. Incorporating these simple tips into your routine in the long run can make a huge difference to both your health and productivity.

6 Essential Ergonomic Tips Every Laptop User Should Follow 3

George Chiang

George is the senior editor and ergonomist at Ergonomic Trends. You can find him hitting the gym or the yoga studio when he’s not working hard at a cafe as a digital nomad.


More Posts:

Basic Steps That Can Prevent Security Breaches

With technology now playing such an intrinsic role in our lives, we must prioritize cybersecurity to keep ourselves safe from potential risks. Prevention is one of the key factors when it comes to security - and taking some simple steps can reduce your risk...

Tricks for Boosting Productivity at Your Business

Running a successful business requires efficiency and productivity from employees and management. This can be a challenge for many businesses due distractions in the workplace and high workloads that are placed on employees. Fortunately, there are several tricks you...

How to Decide Which Business Data to Archive

When it comes to business data, it's not a question of if you should archive it, but rather how you should archive it. With so many factors to consider — from the costs of storage to the ease of retrieval — it can be tough to know where to start. In this blog post,...

Which technology should businesses invest in?

Introduction The top three IT firms this month are Fair Issac Corp., Enphase Energy Inc., and Arrow Electronics Inc. With outstanding third-quarter sales records in a struggling electronics industry, semiconductor distributor Arrow Electronics has become a top bargain...

7 tricks to work more efficiently online.

Working from home is fantastic until your cat spits on your computer and your child make the work even worse by constantly disturbing you. And across the street, your neighbor begins turning on different noisy equipment and power tools as you can only assume that he...

The top five cybersecurity blunders to avoid

Due to the widespread use of smartphones and data consumption during the past ten years, there has been a significant increase in opportunities for hackers to access your devices. Overall, consumption has grown, but there is a gross ignorance about digital security...

13 Best tech business ideas to start this year

Technology companies are concerned with the research and development of technology-based goods as well as their distribution. The products and services that technology companies provide are applicable in a variety of different markets. The following is a list of the...

11 Technology Trends to Improve Your Marketing Strategies

In 2020, many industries were at a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To help keep businesses afloat and their brands relevant despite these uncertain times, marketers were forced to embrace technology. Since there were lockdowns and safety measures, companies...

Top 5 Tips To Get More Google Reviews For Businesses In 2023

Introduction This article lets you discover top tips to get more Google Reviews. Also, it is important to grow your business. It will also help you to build trust, and consumers can rely on your brand. Even the largest law firms in the world need reviews for more...

Best Facebook Guide For Small Businesses In 2023

Introduction Are you running a small business or thinking of starting a small business? Congratulations for your new journey. When you are starting a small business, you should collage your business with social media. Without Facebook, social media marketing is...

All Categories

Business Operations

Entrepreneur Interviews

Marketing, Networking, & Social Media

Self Care & Personal Development

Working Moms

Business Software and Technology

Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Organizing Tips


Career Building

Family Businesses


Starting Your Own Business

Work-Life Balance


Hiring Help

Management & Leadership

Time Management & Priorities

Women in Leadership

Recent Posts

Why Your Business Should Offer HSA-Compatible Health Plans

Why Your Business Should Offer HSA-Compatible Health Plans

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to taking care of your employees. If you offer good benefits, such as healthcare, you’ll be more likely to hire and maintain the best employees.  Here are a few reasons why your business should...

When it’s Time to Hire an HR Professional for Your Company

When it’s Time to Hire an HR Professional for Your Company

As your business continues to expand, it might be a wise decision to employ an HR specialist who can help you manage and optimize your workforce. An HR expert brings with them essential services that will streamline the operations of your company while keeping your...

Why Your Office Needs High-Quality Chairs

Why Your Office Needs High-Quality Chairs

For any business or organization, the right office furniture is vital. Quality chairs are essential and can help bolster productivity, decrease employee health issues, and remain operable longer than budget substitutes. Investing in quality office chairs provides...

How to Quickly Capture Attention on Social Media

How to Quickly Capture Attention on Social Media

Social media is invaluable for marketers and business owners, especially those working with small businesses. It’s a great way to get the company in front of more people, allowing you to attract more customers. Of course, it’s not enough to just get seen on social...

Tips for Starting a Gardening Business in Your Community

Tips for Starting a Gardening Business in Your Community

Embarking on a gardening business is a bewildering journey that promises both intrinsic satisfaction and monetary success. The paramount initial step is to scrutinize the varied gamut of services you would want to render, followed by an intricate search for tools and supplies to substantiate the execution of those services. Crafting a business and financial plan is an absolute must, especially given the burgeoning competition from fellow green-thumbed entrepreneurs amidst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Establishing an online presence through a website and social media and designing business cards and flyers are integral to drumming up business. Lastly, building a loyal clientele and network is paramount for sustained success in the horticultural realm.

How to Protect Your Personal Finances From Black Swan Events

How to Protect Your Personal Finances From Black Swan Events

Life throws us an occasional curveball; it’s just a part of life. But what if your finances take a hit due to something outside of your control?  Black swan events are rare, but they occur and can cause massive financial losses. The key is to be prepared for the worst...