Ask A Pro


I have headaches and a stiff neck at times after using my laptop, but not my desktop. Would stretching help?


Stretching every 30-45 minutes would definitely relieve some symptoms. Laptops are very convenient, and good to use if you are checking a quick email or doing a brief internet search. However they are not good if used for an extended period of time. Either your neck is in poor posture or if the laptop screen is at eye level where it should be, the wrists are in a cocked position placing strain through in the shoulders and wrists. I recommend that you set your laptop up at home, with the screen at eye level (30 degrees lower with bifocals). Place it on a riser, which can be purchased at an office or computer store. A separate keyboard should be attached to the laptop, so that the wrists can be in a neutral (or straight), not cocked up position. The elbows should be next to the body, bent not more than 90 degrees. Feet should be resting on the floor or a stool; hips not bent more than 90 degrees, preferably hips higher than the knees. A separate mouse placed close to your body should be used to reduce strain in the shoulders and wrists. Learning to touch type is always a good idea too! If this does not relieve your symptoms, see your local physical therapist.
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