Sometimes you just need to lie down, even if you have to finish work or browse the internet. With laptops being so convenient, many people are using them in bed, whether they are working from home or setting up a night for close quarters battle on Netflix.
They are easy to prop up than tablets, and they offer a much larger screen than a cell phone, so it can be a nice luxury to use your laptop while you are lying in bed.
The problem with using a laptop in bed is that you could be sitting in a bad position that may cause pain throughout your body later. Using a laptop while you are in bed can lead to poor posture and may require you to crook your neck in unnatural ways in order to better see your screen.
This is not good for your overall health, and you should take care to use the right positions if you are planning on using your laptop in bed. To learn more about the do’s and don’ts of using a laptop in bed, read on below.
Do Lie With Your Knees And Head Raised
The best way to lie in bed with your laptop is to prop the computer on your knees, which should be raised and angled at about 45 degrees. Prop your head up with a pillow so that it is at about the same level as your knees. (see top image)
This will ensure that you are looking at your computer at the proper angle as if you were sitting at a desk that was set up ergonomically. Keeping the laptop on your thighs just under your knees will prevent it from putting pressure on other areas of your body. This is the optimal ergonomic position if you want to enjoy your laptop while you are lying in bed.
Don’t Place Your Laptop On Blankets Or Pillows
Electronic devices, especially laptops, can get very hot when they are used for extended periods. Materials such as blankets, sheets, and pillows are great insulators. This makes them an excellent choice to keep you warm, but a terrible choice for keeping your laptop cool!
If don’t allow for proper ventilation for your laptop, you run the risk of it overheating and crashing. You may think you are protecting yourself from the heat of the laptop, but in the long run, you are actually making things warmer for yourself.
It is best to place the laptop directly on your legs or to purchase a laptop desk as we go into more detail on that below.
Get A Laptop Desk
If you do not like keeping your legs bent or having the laptop on your thighs, you should consider getting a portable laptop desk. These convenient products will sit across your legs, allowing you to stretch them out straight if you so desire.
Many are also adjustable, so you can customize to the height that you need based on your personal dimensions. They are generally lightweight and collapsible, so you can store them easily even if you don’t have a lot of room in your home.
Just be sure to adjust your pillows accordingly so that you are staring straight at the screen rather than straining your neck. The beauty of the laptop desk is that you can set it however is most comfortable for you, and it will help keep you in better shape and promote better posture when you are out of bed.
Use Ergonomic Equipment
This is especially useful if you use a laptop desk. You can buy a separate mouse and keyboard so that you are reaching too far for your laptop keyboard or touchpad. Stretching your arms too far and crooking your wrists can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or contribute to the negative effects of arthritis.
If you buy an ergonomic mouse and keyboard set, you can keep your arms and hands at the proper distance and benefit from a comfortable feeling while you are typing away or browsing the internet.
Do Use Proper Lighting
If you don’t have enough lighting, you will strain your eyes staring too long at your laptop screen. Make sure that you have soft lights on behind you. You should be able to see your screen and your keyboard without straining or coming any closer. However, you don’t want lights that are too bright and cause a glare. This is also harmful for your eyes and can cause damage that will negatively affect you later on in life.
Don’t Sit Cross-Legged With Your Laptop In Front Of You
When you put the laptop on your bed in front of you, you are putting stress on your neck to look down. However, this is not the only problem with this position. You are also most likely hunching over, putting additional stress on your lower back.
You may not feel it in the beginning, but this may be a major source of pain when you wake up the next day. Lower back pain can extend up into your upper back or down into your thighs, legs and feet, making it difficult to walk.
Don’t Sit Up With The Laptop In Your Lap
Again, sitting up, looking down at your laptop in your lap will put your wrists in an uncomfortable position as well as your neck. You don’t ever want to be looking down at your computer for long periods at a time, as this can lead to poor neck posture and even tinnitus.
Whether you are in bed, at a regular desk, or at a standing desk, you want to be looking levelly at your screen rather than putting perpetual stress on your neck.
Never Lie Down With Only Your Head Propped Up
Some people like to lie on their bed flat and put several pillows up for their head. Or, they will prop their head against the wall. This is terrible for your body as it puts a great deal of stress on your neck as you strain to look at your computer.
If the laptop is actually in your lap, you could have your neck at almost a 90-degree angle! Not only could this lead to pain the next day, but it may also cause long-term muscle and nerve damage that will take years to repair! It can also lead to unattractive posture, with your head always crooked at a downward angle.
Make Sure To Get Up Every Now And Then
Usually, you will only be using your laptop in bed for a little bit of time. Perhaps you are just reading something quick before you fall asleep or checking your schedule for the day before you get out of bed.
However, there are sometimes when you may have a lot of work to do and you will have to be on your computer for a long time. In these instances, you should make sure to set reminders to get and up and walk around for a bit.
Lying around for extended periods of time contributes to a sedentary lifestyle which is bad for your overall health. Even if you have a lot of work to do, you need to make sure to take breaks and get some exercise. This also helps with getting the blood flowing, giving you more energy and helping you to think more clearly.
Staring at the screen for too long can cause long-term vision damage, so getting up for a while is also good for your eyes. If you feel that you have to start straining while you are looking at your screen, you should definitely get up and walk around for a bit.
Try not to look at your phone or any other electronic devices. Keep yourself limited to natural light during these breaks so that you can give your eyes a rest and help your overall vision.
Don’t Make A Habit Of Falling Asleep With Your Laptop
Electronic screens can disrupt our sleeping patterns, so you shouldn’t make it a habit to fall asleep while looking at your screen. The glow can even affect you as your eyes are shut and you are sleeping.
Try to turn off your laptop a few hours before bed, and you will notice a marked improvement in the quality of your sleep. If you must use your laptop in bed, make sure to use a nighttime setting, as the softer light will be more beneficial to you before you go to sleep.
Even while you are lying in the correct position, you should make sure that you are not allowing yourself to slouch or fall into bad habits. If you decide to sit up and use your computer at times, keep your back straight and your head looking forward.
Act as though you are sitting at any other desk and minding your posture. Even in bed, bad posture can cause long-term damage and make you uncomfortable for days afterwards.