The Use of Laptop Computers
The use of laptop or notebook computers is widespread and many people use them regularly as part of the work process. Though the definition can no longer be used in a single direction, thanks to its ability to store songs, watch movies on, store snaps, files, and many more. But primarily it is used widely for work purposes. It brings a sense of style and status. The liberty to carry anywhere unlike a desktop and more importantly to carry your work anywhere! The ability to connect to your mobile or camera and instantaneously exchange data is a boon. Just imagine the advantage of plugging into the internet when you are out of your home or work place! And now the market is flooded with new and wide range of laptops. Everyone seems to speak about only 3GB, 4GB. They are becoming more and more affordable and are slowly replacing desktops at schools. Colleges, offices and even homes! But all good things have their flaws too.
There are three main categories of risk associated with laptop use…
a) Equipment design
b) The environment that they are to be used in.
c) Physical demands upon the user.
a) The equipment is designed for portable use and as a result compromises have had to be made. This leads to smaller keyboards and screens, differing pointer devices or mouse, as well as lack of adjustability. As a result, laptops tend to be uncomfortable in prolonged use
b) The work environment where laptops are used tends to be less “user friendly” than the office environment. Areas are often constricted; such as on trains, in cars, at home etc, which does not allow the user to work comfortably for any lengthy period of time.
c) The arrangement of the keyboard and screen usually leads to the user working with their head and shoulders bent forward, adopting an awkward arm, wrist and hand position in order to key information in or to read the screen. Wherever possible the good practices adopted with the use of desktop computers should be utilized when using a laptop computer. The human body is not designed to be static for long periods of time and it is important that the laptop user varies their work position on a regular basis as well as taking frequent breaks.
The laptop computer, because of its portability, will be used in many differing environments. If using it at home then it is important to find a suitable place to work that has both a comfortable chair and a desk/table to place the laptop on. It is not considered to be good practice to use a Laptop when lying on a bed or couch. If you are lying on your back then your neck will be in an awkward position as you try to see the screen. Equally, if you lie on your front then you will be putting strain on the lower part of the back as your body bends at the waist.
The use of a laptop on trains and planes has become more prevalent. However, the risks here to the user are usually increased due to lack of space. In most cases the laptop will have to be positioned close to the user and the poor posture that results may well lead to the onset of aches and pains in the back, neck and forearm. In this situation the laptop should be used as little as possible.
So by negating the flaws, taking proper precautions while using laptops, and exploiting the positives in the right way, one can enjoy the fruits of this modern marvel.