Laptops allow us to be able to work more flexibly, but they have been blamed for causing back, neck and shoulder problems.
The features that make laptops very portable, such as a screen attached to the keyboard, are the same features that make it difficult for people to adopt correct posture when using them.
Here are some ways you can make your laptop safer and more comfortable to use:
- use a separate keyboard and mouse so the laptop can be put on a stand and the screen opened at eye level
- use your laptop on a stable base where there is support for your arms, and not on your lap
- take regular breaks. If you're moving, there's a lot less stress on your muscles and joints
- sit properly with lower back support, and ensure other desk equipment is within reach
- get into good habits before the aching starts. Neck, shoulder and back problems gradually build up over time
Video: back stretches
In this video, a physiotherapist shows some simple back stretches to help prevent aches and pains.
Media review due: 16 November 2023
See exercise video safety information
This exercise video is suitable for most people, but is not tailored to any specific condition, characteristic or person.
Get advice from a GP or health professional before trying it, especially if:
- you have any concerns about your health
- you are not sure if the exercises are suitable
- you have any pre-existing health problems or injuries, or any current symptoms
Stop the exercise immediately and get medical help if you feel any pain or feel unwell.
Page last reviewed: 18 July 2019
Next review due: 18 July 2022