Posted on: 07 June 2019

Using a laptop properly away from work

Being able to work away from the office is a necessity for mobile workers, and often a treat for office based members of staff. Remote workers will more often than not be using a laptop whilst working away from the office, which comes with a few health dangers not found with regular desktop computers.

Laptop safety

Using a laptop is a different way of working than using a desktop due to the more compact nature of a laptop. Therefore, there are several precautions that you should consider.

Keyboard size

Most laptops will have a keyboard which fits the screen size of the laptop, many of which will usually be around 15 to 17 inches, however more portable laptops can have a screen size as little as 10 inches.  This can present problems to your wrists and hands as you struggle to give your hands the space they need to use a smaller keyboard. Where possible, try and use a full sized keyboard, which you can usually plug into a USB slot, or connect using Bluetooth.

Mouse size

Keyboard mice are also relative to the size of the laptop, with smaller models sometimes resorting to a touch screen to get rid of the need for a mouse. An inbuilt mouse on a laptop will usually be a touch pad with two buttons underneath so you can navigate around the screen and still be able to right or left click. This can also be damaging to your hands and wrists as you may use them at angles rather than keeping them straight, like you can with a regular mouse.

Body position

When working from home, you have the option of working from a more casual position, maybe even from your sofa or bed. However you should remember to maintain a good posture whilst working on your laptop to avoid problems with your back and shoulders. You should also remember to keep your screen at arms distance to prevent eye strain. Always work from a position where you can keep your arms and wrists straight, and if working at a desk, keep your hips higher than your knees.

Battery safety

Only ever use a battery or charger that is compatible with your laptop. Your battery or charger may wear over time, so when you replace them, make sure that you are only using parts that the manufacturer of the laptop recommends. If you carry a spare battery, keep it secure and where it won’t come into contact with metal objects as this could potentially cause an electric shock. Make sure that you can keep your laptop dry, as water can corrode some of the parts which in turn causes the laptop to become hazardous.

Did you know?

Using a laptop mouse uses fewer muscles than a regular mouse, but can cause more injuries due to the static muscle tension in your fingers.

 


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Source: Zywave Inc - Playing it safe – Computing safely with laptops

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