Do You Have Computer Pain?

Laptops and desktops: what’s the difference?

The selling point to laptop computers and other portable electronics devices is their mobility. Unlike a desktop, we can use them anywhere we want and the varied positions we can use are limitless. The downside to this flexibility is that we often find ourselves contorted into awkward positions which may seem comfortable at the time, but can wreak long term havoc on our muscles and joints.

While logging long hours in a sedentary position at a desk presents health concerns of it’s own, experts have been developing remedies for this. We have ergonomic chairs and other equipment that have been designed to alleviate pressures on the body, specifically the back.

Laptops and other portable devices are a different story entirely. Everybody has their own ‘favourite position’ making it difficult to effectively combat the inherent health risks. 

What is the best way to use a laptop?

With the large screen options available today, the best way to operate a laptop is as one would operate a desktop. Sitting in a comfortable chair with adequate back support while taking breaks to stretch and keep mobile represents the ideal.

However, doing this also minimizes the practical use of a laptop. We want our portable computers to be portable, not stationary!

One of the most common places people like to use their laptops are in bed or on a couch. When doing this, the ideal position is lying down on the back, with the knees kept up and the laptop or tablet placed on the thighs. In the diagram below, with the red dots marking possible stresses on joints and muscles, we can see that this position (top left) has none.

Laptops are portable and can be used in a variety of different positions, but those using laptops for extended periods should take their physical health into consideration and maintain a healthy body position

Thousands upon thousands of people in Hong Kong suffer from back pain every day. In fact, back pain is one of the most common reasons for patients to visit a primary care physician. Whether spine and back problems result from an accident, injury, or have crept up over time, back pain can often be misunderstood. Back pain affects everything that you do, from work to play, and ultimately your quality of life.




Register here for our free video series on back pain.  In this guide you will learn about key components of back pain,  how we can work in Hong Kong with back pain,  and more importantly, exercises to help mobilize and strengthen the lower back.