Is Your Posture Good Right Now? How Laptop Positioning Affects Productivity

If you're feeling tired, check your neck. A simple fix to the sitting problem from entrepreneur coach and author Phil Drolet.

If you’re reading this on your laptop right now, take a second to think about your posture.

How are you sitting? How is your back? How about your neck?

Whether you realize it or not, having a bad posture directly impacts your productivity. Sitting straight and looking ahead energizes you, while being slouched over will make you feel more tired and lethargic.

Now imagine spending 8-10 hours a day for the next 10 years working on your laptop with bad posture. That's a one-way ticket to back problems, neck pain and an expensive medical bill.

Luckily, this problem can easily be remedied. By simply setting your computer on a laptop stand and using an external mouse and keyboard, you can work with an excellent posture that will keep you energized and away from the doctor.

Even better, you can carry your laptop set-up everywhere you go and still have excellent posture no matter if you’re at home, the office or a coffee shop.

Phil Drolet is a performance coach in Boulder, Colorado.

[Image: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski]

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16 Comments

  • RationalistFaith

    Sitting straight may work for most, but I personally work 16+ hours per day and just can't be sitting straight all the time as my back tends to hurt and builds up unnecessary stress. I keep the chair back unlocked and alternate between 135 and 100 degrees, depending on focus needed at the task at hand.

    It's useless to sit up straight while I'm compiling code for example, but necessary when tracking down a complex bug.

    Sitting up straight at all times is yet another absolute that is not a realistic solution. In fact, I question the amount of work people actually do sitting up straight...?

  • pops07

    Sitting is the worst position of all. We were designed to stand erect. No back pain, no neck strain, no carpal tunnel issue. Just stand !

  • DrSuccess

    I am determined a standup desk will be my first order of business when I move into my new office this month. 

  • pops07

    Good going, Dr. Success! I've been using a standing workstation setup since 1990. The mobility afforded is terrific. I'll turn 78 in September and see no reason to sit.

  • Patrick Berzi

    Thanks Phil ! That is indeed interesting. At work, we use "electric lift table" which gives you the possibility to adjust your desk to the righ height. Plus, you can work easily while standing up which is awesome if you feel a little bit tired. As for me, the chair is also very important. He should allow you to have a full straight position without letting your laying back...

  • DrSuccess

    Patrick do you use an UpDesk?  I have been looking at different standing desk options and wondered. Thanks,

  • phildrolet

    Totally. I've heard about the electric lift tables, that's definitely the next step! Since I work from a co-working space we're a bit more limited but I'm excited to get one eventually. Lots of good science behind working standing... and also working while walking on a treadmill!

  • The Roost Stand

    I see someone already posted here about looking at the Roost, but I would recommend it again! The roost lifts your laptop screen to eye level, encouraging better posture and greatly diminishing the possibility of RSI. The inventor, James Olander, went through many physical therapy treatments before he was told that he should really just stop using a laptop. He created the Roost so that didn't have to happen!

    The other great part about the Roost is that it can collapse down into a very small, lightweight, and extremely portable item, allowing for extreme mobility! The Roost is on kickstarter for 2 more weeks, and you can pre-order it there!
    http://www.kickstarter.com/pro...

  • phildrolet

    Yes I'm super excited to get one! Judging by the success of the KS campaign, a lot of people are ready to upgrade their working position. 

  • Ali Shabbir

    So why were the laptops introduced in the first place if they are eventually going to be used as desktops?

  • Jack

    This is the dumbest comment I've ever read. I had a whole argument typed to respond with, but realized it would be wasted.

  • nunolein

    Completely agree, looking for better and optimal ways to utilize the laptop in the workspace does not render its original intention useless, it still remains a portable device wich you can take to other settings / places.