Common Laptop/Netbook Positions To Avoid

The great thing about laptops and netbooks: You can use them anywhere. The downside: If you spend a lot of time in the wrong position, you're in for a world of RSI pain.

The illustration above — from weblog Core77's netbook case study — highlights 10 common usage positions and the pain points you're asking for down the road with each. (No one wants glowing red joints!) Interestingly, the most comfortable position, according to the study, is position #2 above: lying down with the device slightly elevated on the user's thigh with bent knees.

Gizmodo's Brian Lam attests to the comfort of the lay-down position, having been bed-ridden for months after a motorcycle accident several years back. Now if only you could convince your boss that working from bed is a good idea.

Got a non-traditional computing position that does the trick for you when you're away from the desk? Let's hear it in the comments.

Case Study: Freescale Netbook Design at SCAD, by Dave Malouf [Core77 via Gizmodo]


    I think i use some of this positions, so now we know what not to do.
    Can you tell us what are position we should use our laptop then ?

    I completely disagree with this list. When I work in the #2 position, my feet and neck get sore.

    I don't think my 13 inch notebook has a big enough screen for the # 2 position to work. Sitting cross legged, my arms at just off 90* bend, is good, but my neck does get a little sore in extended stints.

    I think the solution is moving around- it's a laptop, so move!

    I do number 2 but with pillows under my knees. I work comfortably like this for about 6 hours a day.

    The trick is to use THIN (thin as in vertical not horizontal) pillows behind you, so that your arms still have room to move.

    The first four hours I sit at a desk.

    Actually looking at the picture again, I have many more pillows behind me. I'm kind of in a fully sitting position.

    I love it because it takes the strain out of my neck and shoulders, which are usually in constant pain.

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