Travelling with your Laptop - Ergonomics

This post is about laptop ergonomics, as increasingly people choose to travel with their laptops. Personally, think it's far easier to use a laptop safely -- using it so as not to stress your wrists (the most injury prone region) -- than a desktop computer. That's because most laptops encourage the use of a touch-pad rather than mouse.

I cannot use a mouse for long with getting wrist pain. The worst situation is when I find myself at a computer with an extra long keyboard, the kind with a numeric pad to the right. This forces my right, mouse controlling hand to work at an unhealthy angle. Pain soon follows. A study by some Canadian researchers recently identified "numeric keypad plus mouse" as a culprit in carpal tunnel injuries. My own experience absolutely confirms this.

Traveling, the most important thing to remember is to keep your keyboard at a height that allows your forearms to remain parallel to the ground. If the table is not at a height where this happens naturally, you might want to prop yourself up with a cushion. Or roll up a piece of clothing and sit on it.

In addition to throwing your mouse in the garbage, and checking that your are in alignment with the keyboard, exercise is a big help. Pete Egoscue has some exercises that have helped me overcome quite severe carpal tunnel pain without resort to surgery. I recommend his book Pain Free for some highly beneficial exercises to overcome your injury.

Wrist guards are a waste of money. Surgery is a fool's game. So called "ergonomic keyboards" are a scam because they don't address the main problem (as this website explains).

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