Laptops due to their lightness, mobility and new facilities like WiFi, which allow people to use internet almost everywhere, have become an integral part of many people's life especially youngsters. Everyone will agree that there is no harm in having a laptop. But the problem is that people strain their eyes in very unhealthy and unsuitable postures for long hours. Youngsters use most of their leisure time on their laptops watching movies, surfing or even working.
Posture is not the only problem with the use of laptops. High performance laptops, which are more and more available on the market, seduce everyone. Nevertheless, they generate much more heat than the usual desktop computer.
1. Laptops and children
Problem: The BBC is reporting that laptop with WiFi antennas should not be placed near the laps of children until the research on health problems caused by them become clearer. Such antennas are similar to mobile phone antennas, except that they are less powerful. Prof Challis pointed that children are more sensitive to UV than an adult. He noted that since children are not allowed to use mobile phones for their own safety, the same applies for laptops.
2. Laptops and infertility
Problem: It is known among researchers that a rise in temperature by 1 degree Celsius in the sac surrounding the testicles, known as the scrotum, leads to a decrease of synthesis of normal healthy sperm by 40%. A study carried out by a group of researchers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook revealed that for a person who uses his laptop on the laps, the median temperature rise in the scrotum is around 2.6 to 2.8 degrees Celsius.
Further research is needed to find if there is a correlation between infertility and using a laptop on the lap. But there is surely a decrease in the number of normal sperm cells or sperm count.
Solution: Place the laptop on a surface instead of your lap when you are using it. Or you can buy stands for laptop.
3. Laptops and burns
Problem: The heat from the laptop on the lap also causes skin and groin burns. To protect themselves from burns, certain people place a pillow between their lap and laptop. This can turn out to be more dangerous as the air vent of the laptop are blocked. The fans work faster but only to circulate a heated air that cannot escape. There are high risks that your laptop plastic back cover melts and causes more serious burns.
Solution: Firms are designing very comfortable and safe lap rests for your laptops. They can be searched through the internet.
4. Laptops and wrist pains
Problem: Excessive typing causes the wrist to press against the edge of the laptop's border which is sharp in certain models. This causes compression of nerves and blood vessels leading to wrist and finger pains due to insufficient circulation of blood to the extremities of the hand.
5. Laptops associated to shoulder and neck pains
Problem: Laptop keyboards lack inclinations and proper hand rests. The elbow remains suspended in the air, thus causing contraction on the muscles of the shoulders and that of the neck. Prolonged use leads to shoulder and neck pains.
6. Problem: Often the height of the screen is not ergonomic. The muscles of the back and the neck are used to have a better view of the screen display.
Solution: The laptop can be placed on a support which permits us to see the whole content of the screen extend and stretch the neck muscles.
7. Laptops and the eyes
Problem: The eyes need rests and the lenses inside them have to relax after stretching. When using laptops or computers in general, the muscles that control the lenses remain in a static position depending on the number of hours you stare at the screen.
Solution: To protect the eyes from strains, frequent poses are recommended. It is advisable to watch distant objects so as to allow the muscles to relax.
8. Problem: The brightness of the screen is also important. Too much brightness or light from another source reflecting on the screen into your eyes can be harmful to the retina. The retina is a collection of light sensitive cells that collects information and sends them to the brain to be processed into vision.
Solution: To avoid this, choose a suitable brightness as well as switching on the lights to dampen the amount of light from the laptop screen.
Laptops in no case will harm us if used correctly. We just need to control the amount of hours we spend in front of it and respect the body postures and constraints.
Written: 11/08/2007 http://www.diethack.com