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Ergonomic Challenges with Laptop Use in Hybrid Work Models

Many employees use laptop computers due to their portability and convenience.  Staff can take their laptops to meetings, on the road, and back to their home office.  Unfortunately, the laptop’s compact design does not satisfy some basic ergonomic requirements.


Due to the fact that the screen is attached to the keyboard, laptop users are forced to work in awkward postures:

  1. When the screen is at an ideal height, the keyboard is too high;
  2. When the keyboard is at an ideal height, the screen is too low.

This creates a trade-off between poor neck posture and poor hand/wrist posture.


When using a laptop as part of your hybrid workstation, follow these set-up guidelines to help reduce your risk of strain.  Refer to the Ergonomics Tips for Proper Laptop Use Figure.

  • Use a chair that allows you to sit with your upper legs parallel with the floor (6), with a supported and upright neck position (4), and your lower back with proper lumbar support (5).
  • Use a laptop riser (2) or place the laptop on top of a 2-3 inch binder to raise the height of the screen to eye level (1). Tip: Don’t place your laptop on top of a pillow, as the lack of circulation can overheat the computer.
  • Use an external mouse and keyboard (3) and position them at working elbow height.
  • Ensure sufficient leg room (7) and that your feet are supported (8). This typically includes the use of a footrest for petite to average statured users.
  • Stand up and stretch frequently.


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March 22:          Avoid Costly Mistakes with Hybrid Work

June 7:               Top 3 Mistakes That Occur When Selecting a Sit Stand Desk

September 20:  Ergonomics Misconceptions Debunked


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Contact ERGO Inc. today for your ergonomic needs.  Visit ERGO online to access free resources and learn more about our professional ergonomics services.