The beauty of laptops is that you can use them in just about any ideal position—right? As opposed to a standard external monitor and external keyboard, you can do so much more than sitting with one at your desk: you can sit cross-legged with your laptop in your lap, prop it on your stomach while you lie in bed, or leave it on the floor as you sit around a game board, all thanks to the flexible viewing angle and lightweight quality.
If you regularly use a laptop, your range of poses might rival the average yoga class.
But there’s bad news for laptop users: the long-term effects of laptop use can lead to back and neck pain from hunching, wrist pain, and many other negative health issues. Believe it or not, bad posture while sitting now rivals alcohol abuse, smoking, and poor diet as a risk factor for chronic disease.
Luckily, there’s a solution to the potentially negative effects of laptop use: the laptop stand.
What Are Laptop Stands For?
The fact of the matter is that laptops have a fundamental design problem. The screen and the keyboard are incredibly close together. That means that when you’re in a comfortable typing position, you’re likely hunched over and looking down at the screen. On the other hand, when you’re in a comfortable viewing position, the keyboard is uncomfortably high, and reaching it can lead to shoulder strain.
Laptop table stands are meant to correct this problem. They provide a number of benefits:
- They keep your laptop off your lap, preventing damaging health effects
- Adjustable height stands facilitate the proper alignment of your spine and neck, reducing pain and long-term health risks
- Angled stands help you find an ideal typing position that prevents undue strain on the neck and shoulders
- Air vents prevent overheating and improve your laptop’s durability
This guide is designed to help you understand why you might need an adjustable vented laptop table stand and how to best modify your routine to increase your comfort and, with it, your overall well-being. Neck strain, back pain, and additional pressure on the wrists can now more easily be avoided when using your laptop device.
The Long-Term Effects of Awkward Sitting
More and more people use laptops as their only home computers. They function as their go-to spot for emailing, working, watching videos, and communicating with friends. You may also use a laptop for work, whether at home or the office. If this sounds like you, you probably already experience some discomfort with daily use.
Maybe you’re not sure a little neck pain requires yet another object in your home. Maybe you’re not sure you want to use a laptop stand: you like your desk the way it is, or you think it might look weird at your usual table in the coffee shop. Before going any further, it’s important to break down the graver negative effects of spending day-after-day sitting awkwardly at your laptop.
Laptop Use and Chronic Pain
Prolonged laptop use can lead to so much more than a little neck pain. To explain why bad posture is a risk factor for chronic health conditions, let’s review the possible long-term effects of your favorite sitting position.
They include but are not limited to:
- Arthritis, carpal tunnel, or bursitis — when your keyboard is poorly positioned, you may put unnecessary strain on the muscles of the forearm and fingers, leading to long-term damage
- A rounded upper back or damaged lower back — when you habitually slouch over your laptop, you may strain the ligaments in your lower back and develop a permanent rounding that persists in sitting, standing, and walking
- Neck strain — looking down at your screen misaligns your neck and spine, overstraining the muscles that hold your head up. (This applies to cell phone use, too!)
- Poor vision — if your screen is too far away or at the wrong viewing angle, laptop glare and small fonts may lead you to squint and strain, damaging your vision over time
- Reduced sperm count - sitting with a hot laptop in one’s lap can affect men’s long-term reproductive health
If you want to avoid these serious health consequences, it’s within your power to do so. It all starts with finding the best laptop stand that will meet your needs.
Laptop stands are ergonomically designed to put your body back into proper alignment, thus mitigating the chances that any of these negative consequences occur. Considering the ergonomic design, a simple piece of hardware, oddly enough, is the key to protecting your body’s alignment when you’re at the keyboard.
Laptop Stands for Proper Alignment
Laptop stands are designed and built to optimize your laptop’s position in relation to your body—so that you can continue to use your laptop without negative effects. A portable laptop stand can be used sitting, standing, or even lying in bed.
But first, let’s start by introducing the general principles of optimum alignment.
Want to Knock Out Bad Posture? Let’s Get Muhammad Ali-gned
Take a look at your posture as you read this article: where are you in relation to your screen? How does your body feel?
The best posture for computer use is:
- Gazing straight ahead at the screen, with your neck nicely aligned with your spine
- Sitting with back support to encourage relaxation of the spine (not hunched or rounded)
- Arms supported so your shoulders can relax
- Elbows close to your torso and bent at 90 degrees
- Wrists flat in relationship to your keyboard
How many of these are true of your body’s alignment right now? If you’re on your laptop, it might be immediately obvious that it’s hard to achieve this perfect position.
Luckily, we’ll show you how to ergonomically use a laptop that will ultimately help you find a comfortable position.
Using a Stand to Perfect Your Posture
A laptop stand can help you take the all-important first step towards better back, neck, and eye health: it elevates your laptop by several inches. Many vented laptop table stands also place your laptop at an angle, helping you avoid the laptop glare that can strain your vision.
With some laptop stands, a little elevation makes all the difference, and you’ll find your keyboard is comfortable to use with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. If you regularly use your laptop on a desk or flat surface, though, there are additional options for customizing your workspace to better suit your body’s needs.
Find the Laptop Stand That’s Right For You
Whether you most frequently use your laptop at home, at your office, or everywhere in-between, a laptop desk stand can help you to correct your posture and improve your health.
Using a Laptop Stand at Your Desk
If you mostly use your laptop at your home or office desk, it’s easy to find the best laptop stand that improves your posture and maximizes your comfort. Take for example this adjustable height laptop riser. With this stand, it’s easy to raise your monitor so that the upper edge is directly in front of (or just above) your field of vision.
This ergonomic laptop stand for desk setups is not only adjustable in height, but it also has rubber pads so that your laptop stays put, and allows you to angle the screen to reduce glare. For the best results, you may want to invest in an external keyboard and mouse (wireless or plugged in). This will allow you to keep your arms by your sides as you type.
The positive impact of this new desk setup include:
For Your Bed and Your Sofa
If you find you most frequently use your laptop somewhere other than your desk, you’re not alone. Still, there are ways to improve your position. Do you like working in bed or on the couch? This lightweight tray stand can help you find the optimal position for working.
Benefits of this lap desk stand include:
On the Go
If you frequently work outside your home, you may be interested in a portable ergonomic laptop stand that can be your travel companion. These sleek, portable devices can easily fit in your backpack or briefcase and are unobtrusive as you move between home, the coffee shop, and the office. Portability has never been so convenient!
Other Tips for Your Workday
If you’re looking to maximize your comfort while working and reduce your risk of chronic illness, there are several other things you can do to improve your laptop use habits. Consider trying:
- Standing — spend some of your day at a standing desk. Don’t forget to adjust your laptop desk stand to maintain optimum posture while standing! Alternate between standing and sitting once every thirty minutes for positive long-term health effects. Not only will your neck reap the benefits, but so will your tailbone and legs.
- Stretching — take breaks throughout the day to stretch, paying special attention to your neck. This not only prevents the buildup of tension, but also allows you to check in and see if your posture is helping you keep your neck and spine relaxed.
- Walking — walking for even a few minutes can help to improve your back’s stability so you return to your desk or workspace ready to focus.
Find Your Laptop Stand at Mount-It!
Mount-It! has created a wide variety of laptop stands for use at a desk or on the go. These stands go through rigorous testing to ensure they deliver the best ergonomic results. Mount-It! is dedicated to making technology work for your body and your space, providing exceptionally designed products at value prices.
At the end of the day, we want you to work as efficiently as possible—protecting the health of your body and mind in the process. A laptop stand with an ergonomic design is one of the many ways that you can realize your body’s natural form, increase productivity, and safeguard your future well-being.
Indiana University. Ergonomics Tips for Laptop Users. https://protect.iu.edu/environmental-health/occupational-health/ergo-program/office/laptop.html
Medical News Today. The Dangers of Working in an Office. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/293314.php#1
Business Insider. 24 Ways Your Office Job is Ruining Your Health. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-your-office-job-is-destroying-your-health-2016-4
Posture Group. Effects on Posture of Not Setting Up Your Laptop Correctly. https://www.posturegroup.co.uk/blog/effects-on-posture-of-not-setting-up-your-laptop-correctly