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Laptops can be a pain Author: Melissa D'costa

Warn British scientists. Regular use of the portable
device may hurt your spine, neck and shoulders, they
say. LiFE@WORK gets a medical expert and working
professionals to tell us if laptops can weigh you down
Pic/ Narendra Dangiya
The laptop is compact, portable and a boon to working
professionals who are always on the go. However, while
no one can deny its benefits, its side-effects
cannot be ignored.

Regular laptop users we spoke to, admit that all of
them have at some point in time suffered from back,
neck and shoulder pains.

This is a cause for concern because the number of
laptop users suffering from back and muscle problems
is increasing. If you are one of them, read on to
find out why laptops are making your body ache.

Bag Weighs

4 kgs and 700 gms

What's inside Laptop, charger and diaries

Complains of Shoulder pain because of laptop weight

To avoid discomfort, I don't carry a regular laptop
case, and have switched to using a haversack so that
the weight is distributed evenly.

What medical experts have to say

Dr Prasham Shah, orthopaedic surgeon with Saifee
hospital

Laptop users who carry their laptop bags on one
shoulder, are likely to suffer from severe shoulder
pain. It's preferable if you carry a laptop bag that's
like a haversack. Since the straps rest on both the
shoulders, the weight is distributed equally.

Problems laptop users face

1) Neck pain Placing the laptop low (on your lap or on
a desk) for comfortable arm position, means that you
have to tilt your neck forward to view the
screen. After a while, your neck will hurt.

2) hand and finger pain Most laptops have keys that
are smaller than those found on traditional keyboards
- a potential cause for hand and finger pain.

3) back and neck pain When a laptop is used in cramped
spaces, it leads to poor posture, and may cause back
and neck pain.

Quick fixes

1) Take frequent breaks When using your laptop, it's
likely that you are working in a more cramped space,
than if you are using a desktop. So, taking short
breaks and changing your posture, is important.

2) Change position of laptop at intervals If the
laptop is on your lap, consider switching its position
occasionally. Leave it on your lap for 30 minutes
to promote ideal wrist posture, then switch it to a
table to improve your neck position. If the laptop is
on your lap, raise its height with a pillow or
cushion, so that you don't have to strain your neck.

3) sit on a couch It's important to ensure that you
are not slouching while working on your laptop.

4) Don't carry too many laptop accessories Reducing
the number of peripherals you carry will reduce your
bag's weight and the subsequent stress-and-strain
on your shoulders.

Tips to follow while working with a laptop

1) Try to keep your wrists in a neutral position (not
bent).

2) Sit about arm's length from the screen

3) Use a light touch while typing.

Is your laptop heavy?

Arif Ahmed
Editor with a film production company

Yes, my laptop is heavy. In fact, there are times when
my shoulders ache because of the weight.

Shoaib Sadiq
AM HR Training, automobile manufacturing company

My laptop is heavy and my shoulders hurt at the end of
the day.

Swapnil Mule
Design manager with a crane manufacturing company

While my laptop is light, the case is heavy thanks to
the accessories I have to carry. That's why my
shoulders and back ache at times.

Case study
Hilary Pinto
Designation: Senior product engineer with a marketing
company

Travels daily from his residence in Malad to his
workplace at Saki Naka, Andheri (E). Generally rides
his bike, also commutes by car and occasionally takes
the train.

Commuting Time: Over one hour, one way.

About the study

The results of a survey conducted by UK scientists at
the University College London revealed that 1 in 5
students who used laptops, had neck and shoulder
pain, while 16% said they suffered wrist ache and 15%
said their back hurt.

2 comments:

  1. hi, its very informative, Neck Ache , thanks

    ReplyDelete
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