Laptops: Are We Sacrificing Pain for Practicality?

I make my money writing for people on the internet. Do not get me wrong, I am not a well-known published author but I write articles for businesses and individuals on the internet. Do you need a how-to-guide how your customers can use your product? I am the person for the job, need someone to write a review for something? Again, that is why I do.

I love being creative and love the fact that I can write when it is convenient for me. There is something truly empowering about the fact that I can write until 4 AM if I choose to do so and leave my work behind for a day if I do not feel like working (assuming of course that I do not have a particular deadline)

I can set my own schedule and can work anywhere. As long as I bring my laptop I can work at my brother’s house, I can work anywhere that has internet access or I can write when I am waiting on my commute.

Not Everything Is Positive

Of course, not everything about writing for the internet is positive. Plagiarism is a massive problem (I have had people try to take ownership of work that I did before) and can be stressful having no guaranteed income and only being paid when you have work to do.

One of the worst things though is the fact that I have so many different places to work. That means that oftentimes I will sit down somewhere and write a page or two, but pay absolutely no attention to how I am sitting. For a minute or two, this does not become a problem, but after an hour or two, my back is killing me.

Long term injuries are not unthinkable

When I decided to look up a little more information about what might have been bothering me, I already knew that it had to do with posture. It does not take a genius to figure out that sitting in a rather uncomfortable position for several hours each day, straining to see what is happening on the screen is not going to be good for you.

What I did not realize, and what frankly scared me, was what I learned when I saw a YouTube video by Tamara James at Duke Occupational and Environmental Safety’s ergonomics division. Sometimes the damage caused by your faulty posture and now using your laptop in an ergonomic manner can be permanent.

My previous assumption was that anything I did to do my body with faulty posture would eventually go away (you know, when I would take a break from working for a few weeks). It turns out that that was not true.

So What Are My Options?

Oh yes, so the dreaded, what are my options? discussion. I decided that the best way for me to make a change was by using a docking station, which was recommended in that aforementioned video. Now granted, I am not going to want to give up the accessibility of having a laptop. What I mean by that is that I am still going to use my laptop as a laptop when I am somewhere other than my home.

When I am at home however, I decided to invest in a docking station if I am going to be writing for an extended period of time. I decided to buy a separate keyboard and mouse and have my laptop elevated so I can see the screen better.

Ultimately, I feel I am slightly more productive but what matters most to me is the fact that I am saving my wrists and neck. After I watched the initial video, I was always worried about posture and whether I was hurting my body. As you can imagine, that does not really make for great productive work. Now I know that my posture is much better, and I can write into the night!