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This article is the second of two articles about laptop use. In the first article, we discussed the problems laptop computers are creating for people. Please read this preceding article, Laptop Beefs. It's important to understand the exact problems associated with laptop use so you will be able to minimize your risk of injury. Also, please read the webpage discussing to laptop tips.
There are two ways that people appear to be using laptops today. Some people primarily use them at a fixed workstation at work, at home, or both. Others use laptops on the go, in a variety of environments where there are many variables that may not be ideal. In a workstation environment, it's fairly easy to design a setup with a few accessories that will be comfortable every time you sit down and plug in your laptop. In other "real-world" environments, equipment and accessories must be portable and lightweight. They also should be easy to use.
Fortunately, even though laptop manufacturers have not yet responded to health risks by designing laptops fit for human use, there are a lot of new products continuously cropping up on the market which enable you to limit potential bodily harm.
It's most important to make sure that you are able to sit comfortably with your low back supported, type with relaxed shoulders, arms and hands, and view the display straight ahead without bowing your head down. In a fixed environment, you can plug the laptop into a docking station that is connected to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. This allows you to sit at a workstation that is set up according to ideal design guidelines. But docking stations are expensive. So the next best thing is to raise the laptop so the top of the screen is even with straight ahead vision and attach an external keyboard and mouse through the use of a Y-connector (for PC's) or via a USB hub. You can use traditional monitor risers to raise the laptop up or even a stack of books!
When portability is an issue, things are looking much better, too! There are two really good laptop stands, which we show on our laptop products webpage. Finally, this topic would not be complete if we didn't discuss the problems associated with carrying a laptop. A laptop, accessories, extra batteries, etc. can add up to a fairly heavy load, which can pull your spine out of whack if you use a shoulder bag or regular carrying case. To distribute the load evenly, please invest in a laptop backpack. We show several backpacks on our web page and we provide a link that compares the laptop backpacks currently on the market.
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