Keenan Blog

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Laptops to Go – Let’s Be Safe Out There

Kathy Espinoza 2/11/2014
Kathy Espinoza

In our mobile society, many people work “on the go”,  in airports, hotels or coffee spots. Using a laptop comfortably is challenging. When the screen is at a good height, the keyboard isn’t, and vice versa. Here are suggestions to make laptop use more comfortable.

Is your portable computer portable?

  • Select lightweight models if using at multiple sites.
  • Use docking stations if you frequently work between two offices.
  • Transport your laptop using a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps or a wheeled case.

Making your laptop and your body click

  • When you use the laptop for less than 30 minutes, sit in a slightly reclined position and push the monitor open, a bit farther back than normal. There are many devices that can help position the laptop at a better angle.


  • When you use the laptop for more than 30 minutes, place the laptop onto a higher surface to elevate the screen and connect an external keyboard and mouse. Place the laptop on several reams of paper or a stack of books to get it to the right height.

I can see clearly now

  • Select a laptop with a large screen and increase font size for viewing, if needed.
  • Ideally, the top of the screen should be at or just below seated eye level.
  • Position your screen to avoid glare from windows and overhead lights.

Type the friendly skies

  • Try to sit in bulkhead or emergency-row exit seats. Lower the window shade and adjust the overhead light to reduce glare.
  • Whenever possible, elevate your laptop on a pillow on your lap. Keep your laptop at the same level as the armrest and use the armrests for arm support.

Give yourself a break

  • Follow the 20/20/20 rule. Take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away to rest your hands and eyes. Stretch during these breaks. Here are some quick stretches:
    • Lean forward and squeeze your shoulder blades together by bringing your elbows behind your back. Keep your shoulders lowered.
    • Turn your head and look over both shoulders to stretch your neck.

With better understanding of the body mechanics and preparation for the situations we encounter, we can all learn to work much more comfortably with our laptops.