This is a guest post by Melissa Cameron.
If you are a writer, you probably already know a bit about ergonomics. Perhaps you do not know a great deal about the science behind it, but you know the pain that you can be in when you have bad posture.
We all know that it is important to get up and walk around a few times each hour, but I’ll be honest with you. Once you get into the zone and find your voice, it is hard to stop writing. This means that you are typing along, and before you know it, your body is in agony by the time you are done.
There are a number of important aspects at work when it comes to using your laptop in an ergonomic fashion.
Raise Your Screen You Writing Machine!
If you are working on a laptop, it sometimes feels like you have to make certain ergonomic compromises. One of them is that the screen is often so low that you have to strain your eyes to be able to read what is going on.
Especially when you are working on the road, be sure to grab something that you can put underneath your laptop to raise the screen. You want the top of the screen to be around eye level, that way you have virtually no strain on your eyes and neck.
Trackball? Get Out Of Here!
For practical reasons I absolutely abhor the trackball, it always ends up getting me in trouble. Before I know it I am writing in a completely different part of my document and I am typing over things that had already been saved before.
Aside from the practical concerns, a trackball can also wreak havoc on your wrists. Have you ever tried using one? They are fine for a few moments but after only a moment, you see how uncomfortable it feels in both your fingers and your wrist. If you have the option to do so, use a separate mouse instead.
Keyboard? Often Ignored!
Yes, it is awesome that you can open your laptop and just start typing away. Nevertheless, this keyboard on your laptop is not really made for comfortable, long-term typing.
Just look at how your wrists and fingers are positioned when you use a laptop keyboard, flat and strained. Your tendons and muscles are strained and do not look comfortable in the slightest. Now imagine typing on that for hours on end and you will realize why it is often a much better idea to have a separate keyboard if you can do so.
Need Something Simple?
Alright so say you are a student or just do not have the type of money required to ergo-proof your workspaces, what can you do then? One of the simplest ideas is to get one of those large college 3-ring binders. The type that sells for a dollar or two anywhere you go.
You place your keyboard onto the binder (so it faces upwards) and that way it reduces the strain on your wrists. If you compare the way that your hands are positioned before and after the binder, you will see that your fingers may be a little higher, but your wrists are in a much more natural position.
What If You Are Already In Pain
If you are already in pain, these suggestions are still valid, but you may need to seek out a back pain specialist to help you get rid of some of the initial pain. If you are unfamiliar with chiropractors or simply have no idea who is in your vicinity, you can look up chiropractor reviews on the large search engines such as Google or Yahoo to see which chiropractic practices are highly recommended in your area.
About The Author
Melissa Cameron lives in Austin, Texas, along with Dave; her husband of five years, and works as a freelance writer. She is currently working on series of articles with the help of a chiropractor in the Sacramento area and utilizing chiropractor reviews on the importance of setting using your laptop in an ergonomic fashion.