Proper ergonomics for a laptop in bed

Written by kay ireland
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Proper ergonomics for a laptop in bed
Support and protect your back in bed. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

While laptops are named after the area on the body where they're often used, they shouldn't actually be placed on the lap for an extended period of time. Hunching over a laptop while in your bed could result in back pain and strain; it's best to use your computer while seated at a desk. If you must use your laptop while sitting in bed, support your back to avoid pain and poor posture habits. If you use a few pillows or a lap desk, using your laptop in bed won't be a pain.

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Proper Posture

Before you hop into bed with your laptop, take a moment to assess your computer-user posture. In general, when you're using your laptop, your elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle. Your head should be centred over your neck and spine, with your shoulders back. Typically, your feet are on the floor, which is one of the problems with using your laptop in bed. By keeping the proper posture in mind, you can better arrange yourself in bed for a comfortable experience.

Back Support

When using your laptop in bed, it's easy to forget your posture, hunch over or strain your neck. You wouldn't maintain that sort of posture at your desk, so sit up and support your back. Place your back against your headboard or a wall, if possible, and place a rolled pillow behind the small of your back. Ensure that you're sitting up straight and imagine your head being pulled upward by a thread. Relax your shoulders and use a laptop in bed infrequently to avoid poor posture habits elsewhere.

Lap Desks

Lap desks are sturdy tools that allow you to hold your laptop at a proper angle while it sits on your lap. Some allow you to sit upright and give the laptop a sturdy surface to rest upon. Some laptop desks arrange the computer so that you can lie down while typing and navigating, especially important if you are confined to bed and must be on your back, rather than sitting up. As of 2011, lap desks can cost anywhere from £16 to £97, but if you know you'll be bedridden or you tend to work on your laptop in bed often, the purchase can be worth it.

Good Lighting

Good lighting can help save your neck and back as you use your laptop in bed. If the room is dim or your screen brightness is dim, you may hunch forward to better see the screen. This hunching can result in a sore neck and back in the morning. Adjust your screen brightness or use a reading lamp to ensure that you can see the screen easily with your back against a wall or while sitting straight. Remember that your head should remain centred over your spine for proper posture while using your laptop.

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