Using your laptop in the wrong position can be bad for your health. Depending on what position you are in when you use your laptop, you will be putting pressure on various parts of your body including your neck, wrists, arms and hips.
This was something I looked into a lot earlier this year whilst travelling through South America. We travelled throughout the continent for several months. Unfortunately, our rooms never had a desk, so I frequently had to work from bed. This put a lot of strain on my neck as I was sitting incorrectly. It is a big concern for me as I have a pinched nerve in my neck from an Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu injury. Therefore, I need to sure I do everything to help my neck, rather than put more pressure on it.
One of the most useful articles I found was a case study by Dave Malouf. What caught my attention was an image they published that showed all the common ways in which people use their laptops. The image also shows what parts of the body these positions put strain on. I have republished the image below.
The best position for using your laptop can be seen at the top right. You need to lie in bed with a pillow or something to support your neck and head and then raise your knees to about the same height as your head. The position looks very similar to the third one that is shown (second one down on left hand side). The key difference is the location of the laptop.
Sitting the laptop on your waist appears to put pressure on your wrist. It also places pressure on your neck as you need to lower your eyes to view the laptop. The optimal position addresses this issue by positioning the laptop on your legs instead. This places the laptop screen at eye level, which stops you from having to look down.
Health is not something any of us can take lightly. There is no doubt that working on a computer all day can place strain on many parts of your body, so we should all be conscious of the way we work.
I am not suggesting that you all start working from bed, however I encourage you to keep the position in mind if you use your laptop in bed or on the sofa. Have a try of the optimal position and let me know what you think :)