Prolonged periods of bad posture while working at a desk can lead to several negative health effects, including:
Neck and back pain: Maintaining a poor posture while working on a laptop can strain the neck and back muscles, leading to discomfort and pain.
Shoulder pain: Sitting in a slouched position can put extra pressure on the shoulders and lead to pain and tightness in the upper back and neck.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Poor posture can put pressure on the wrist, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that affects the nerves in the wrist.
Headaches: Maintaining a poor posture for long periods of time can cause tension in the neck and head, leading to headaches.
Eye strain: Working on a laptop that is too low or too high can lead to eye strain and fatigue, as the eyes have to work harder to focus on the screen.
Poor circulation: Slouching or sitting in a cramped position can restrict blood flow to the legs and feet, leading to numbness and tingling.
To mitigate these negative health effects we recommend:
Adjusting the height of your workstation so that the screen is at eye level and the keyboard and mouse are within reach
Use an external keyboard and mouse to reduce reaching for the laptop touchpad
Take frequent breaks to stretch and move your body, and try to maintain an active posture while working. You could even set your phone alarm to ring once every hour as a reminder to get up, stretch and walk around for a few minutes
Consider using a separate monitor or a laptop stand to elevate the screen to eye level
Invest in an ergonomic chair that provides good back support
If you can work at a standing desk, even if only for a few hours during the day, so much the better
By following these recommendations you can reduce the risk of neck and back pain, eye strain, and other negative health effects associated with prolonged periods of poor posture while working at a seated desk.