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Sunday 4 October 2020

Avoid 'Laptop Syndrome' : Some Helpful Tips

How to avoid 'laptop syndrome' while you're working from home 
Government advice to continue working from home means that many of us have now spent half the year hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table.

This has given rise to the aches and pains of so-called ‘laptop syndrome’; a condition which occurs when we spend hour upon hour in unsuitable positions.

Physiotherapist Sammy Margo warned that our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is having a serious impact on our health.

She said, "Laptops are not really designed to do an 8-10 hour working day,".

"[Since lockdown] everyone’s scared of losing their job. They’re sitting for longer periods, they’re not taking regular breaks ... they’re barely getting out of their pyjamas."

For many, the daily commute has been reduced to a short journey from the bedroom to the kitchen.

"They’re literally going from their bed to a C-shaped posture for somewhere in the region of 8-10 hours a day," said Sammy.

She explained that her profession is seeing an upsurge in headaches and migraine, as well as neck, shoulder, arm and lower back pain from the "day in day out grind of sitting in this position".

Are you sitting comfortably?
Occupational therapist, Sally Payne, offered advice for everyone working from home.

“Think about posture,” she advised. “What people should be looking for is a position where they can sit with their shoulders relaxed, their hips, their knees and their ankles all at 90 degrees. If you can get your feet flat on the floor that’s absolutely brilliant."

Sally also suggests pushing the laptop a little away from the edge of the table to allow space for wrists to rest.

Some may find their kitchen set-up works well for them but Sally sounded a note of warning:

"The worst possible position would be to sit on a barstool at a kitchen work surface because you’ll be hovering with your legs dangling and your arms are not resting comfortably."

It's easy to dismiss the first grumblings of aches and pains but Sally advised that we pay heed to them.

She said, "If you’re getting pain in your body then that’s going to affect not only your work but the other daily activities that you do, and your mental health and well-being as well,"

Preventative measures
Even those lucky enough to have a perfect home work space can benefit from exercising to prevent aches and strains. Sammy suggested trying regular gentle stretches.

"Ensure you’ve got your B.B.C. – bum into the back of the chair," she said. "And while you’re doing that turn your head from left to right, look up and down at the ceiling, then [lean your] ear to shoulder followed by [the other] ear to shoulder. Shoulder rolling is another great exercise you can do."

And, Sammy advised that even though we're working we don't have to do it all sitting down.

"Sitting to standing is one of my favourite exercises because it helps to keep your legs strong. If you’re on the phone to one of your work colleagues or you need to have a break [changing from] sitting to standing is a great way to keep yourself mobile."
The above from article here

I think some of these tips could be helpful for bloggers too!
What do you think?

Related Posts
Is Sitting Too Much Bad for Your Health? - read it here
How to Break Up Your Sitting Time with Movement : Good advice for all - read it here

Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues please take these into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Tom said...

...I just sit at my computer too much!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

This is very good advice. If possible, link the laptop to a wider monitor, with a bigger keyboard and mouse. Take a break every so often.

God bless.

Carola Bartz said...

When I am working for longer hours from home I actually work at my desk top. But I do like my laptop for shorter work periods, especially when I can work outside. However, this is never for longer periods, so I'm okay. While I'm typing this I'm atually sitting on the sofa - probably not the best, but I do enjoy it (and it's not for hours as well).

magiceye said...

Wonderful advice, must follow.

dellgirl said...

Ummmm, very interesting. These are some really good and helpful tips. Thank you for passing this along, I appreciate the tips. Wishing you well, my friend! Stay Safe!

Elephant's Child said...

I use a desk top - but I also make a conscious effort to sit correctly and to stretch. I need to make that effort.

Christine said...

Thanks for great advice

Jeanie said...

I think you wrote this post just for me. I've been working at a table not my regular desk (till it's finally cleared off!) and I think some of the height is not quite correct. The exercises are a great reminder!

Margaret D said...

I don't use my laptop for hours as I have a desktop computer that I use not that I'm sitting for hours anyway as I'm retired but can understand how people hunch over their laptops instead of putting them up and using a cushion to sit on on the chair so they are sitting up straight and get up and go for walks etc.

Elkes Lebensglück said...

Thank you for the interesting tip with the laptop, I can use that!
Have a good week, Elke

Jo said...

Some good tips and advice.

eileeninmd said...


Great post and advice.
Spending too much time at the computer is just bad.
Take care, enjoy your day! Wishing you a happy new week!

Jenn Jilks said...

I'm so glad to be retired.
my kids are juggling four computers and bandwidth at home, schooling and work. It's a trial.

Stevenson Q said...

This is very much helpful Jan! I very much agree that posture is very much key in work from home because at the office, I always get the urges to stand up and get something from the cafeteria but at home, I'm usually just on the chair the lot of the shift! Thanks for sharing this :)

Divers and Sundry said...

Excellent ideas.

Martha said...

Great tips! I hope you've been keeping well. And happy October!

Creations By Cindy said...

Very good and helpful tips. I have arteritis in my neck and mercy I have had to really pay attention at times to my posture more than anything in which apparently is bad! Never have had good posture. I still have to stay on top of myself. Thanks for sharing this. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Hootin Anni said...

I try to not sit at the laptop (it's most always on my desk) or my desktop for no more than an hour before I get up and walk around for 10 minutes. Walking is always good ...6000 to 10000 steps 3 times a week.

I will add the muscle movements to my regime now, and try to remember where to place my butt

Snowbird said...

Very helpful advice, I must stop sitting on a bar stool on the kitchen bar. That must be why my neck

N A S S A H said...

Very nice advice I loved

Linda said...

Definitely a concern. It is important to move around.

Sue said...

This is definitely something to think about. I do have a laptop but only use it for quick hits, for my blogging I use my PC, but my computer posture is terrible. I start my day (Monday to Friday) with an hours swim. I always look for reasons to not go, especially in Winter, but I go anyway and always feel so much better for it. Use it or lose it as they say! xx

Conniecrafter said...

My hubby has had to deal with this, now we have a little office area with good desk and chair so that he doesn't have any troubles! He is always walking back and forth from the bedrooms to the living area to talk to me and vice versa so good exercise there, probably more for both of us then if he was working in the office :)

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent post! Thank you Jan!