Do your staff use laptops?

Did you know the ergonomic standards recommend that working with laptops flat on the work surface be limited to 2 hours a day?

Are managers unwittingly increasing exposure to risk to Worker Compensation claims?

WorkSafe Qld – https://bit.ly/33Q8Nj2  (PDF)  – “Laptops are not suitable for intensive or prolonged use on their own”. “It is important that workers are also provided with appropriate training about laptop use and supervision to ensure that workplace policies are followed. Correct setup and user posture are crucial factors in reducing the risk of injury from laptop use.”

Forced Tuttle Posture

Working with laptops flat on the work surface forces…

  • Your head is jutting forward to look more closely at the screen
  • Your neck is in compression, leading to fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, increased muscle tension and even injury to the vertebrae over time.
  • Increased upper-back pain
  • Increased keying errors
  • Increased risk of repetitive strain injuries due to small point devices as these mean holding static postures longer and requires more effort to maintain accuracy
  • Reduced image size causes visual fatigue

Simple No-Cost Stratagies and Tactics

Encourage your staff to introduce these simple adjustments and work behaviours as part of their work routine. These will increase comfort and productivity and reduce the chance of a career-limiting injury and exposure to potential Workers’ Compensation Claims.

  • Try reducing screen brightness to around 60% to reduce eye strain.
  • Move your screen to at least 75cm from your eyes. A longer focal length means your eye muscles don’t have to work so hard.
  • Add a laptop stand and check your screen height to work with a more relaxed, neutral posture.
    • The centre of your screen should be about shoulder height.
  • Shake out your shoulders and relax back into your chair whenever you find yourself leaning forward or resting on an elbow.

Let your staff know these simple changes are worth trying if they regularly take headache or muscle relaxant medications. These suggestions are an easy way to show your support and promote communications around wellness and self-care, no matter where teams work.

My only purpose, the reason I exist, is risk mitigation. I’ve had many conversations with managers that show me they are unwittingly increasing the company’s exposure to risk due to a lack of knowledge and training around the new health, safety and wellbeing risks of our modern, agile, multiscreen, and increasingly sedentary workplace.

When planning your next lunch and learn, think of Beyond Ergo.

Make us part of your Health and Wellness strategy this year!


Liz (lizk@beyondergo.com.au)