Important Laptop Safety
I Love My Laptop, But......
What's not to love about laptop computers? They're convenient, portable and lightweight. It's great being able to have only one computer that easily transports from home to work to vacation. Millions of people have at least one of these little versatile beauties and they spend a lot of time on them. For that reason, knowing about laptop safety is a really good idea.
I spend anywhere from 12 - 18 hours a day on my laptop and it effects me in ways that are uncomfortable. It's not just the neck and back pain, either. My eyes have been suffering badly, as well.
Recently, there was an item in the news about a man who died after his laptop caught fire.
Did I mention that laptop safety is pretty important?
Important Laptop Safety
Laptop Related Injuries
Muscle, Joint and Eye Strain
There's no moving your monitor farther away or your keyboard closer with a laptop. If you're like me, you end up hunched over in the same position for long periods of time. The next morning, I have a headache, my neck and shoulders are stiff and my eyes feel like burning orbs. I take two ibuprofen and start all over again for the day.
Many people have solved this problem the recommended way. They get either a separate monitor or a separate keyboard. That will give you some flexibility because you can adjust them and use them more comfortably. Whether you are using the laptop as your monitor or a separate monitor, raise it to the proper level in order to keep from having to hunch your neck over. While you're at it, ensure that you have enough distance between you and the screen. What's enough? You'll know. When it's comfortable on your eyes and body and you're not leaning forward to type, you are probably there.
You should also take regular, frequent stretch breaks to reduce back, shoulder, muscle and joint stiffness. Sitting in the same position for a prolonged period is a sure-fire way of causing yourself discomfort.
I've read that it's a bad idea to use a wrist rest. Normally, people use them with PCs to prevent carpel tunnel. There is now a school of thought that says wrist rests actually increase your odds of getting carpel tunnel. I don't use one, so can't offer a personal opinion.
Using a backpack or a wheeled case rather than a briefcase style of laptop bag will reduce stress and strain on your muscles and back, too. The weight is more evenly distributed in a backpack, allowing you to transfer your computer more easily and comfortably from place to place. Besides, it will free up both hands.
Protect Your Thighs and Sperm
If you've ever used your lap as a table for your computer, you already know that it gets very hot after a while. That can be uncomfortable but the real danger comes from the infrared radiation emitted from the laptop. The result can be a rash and even a lowered sperm count. Use a laptop stand or table and save yourself from the waist down.
In all likelihood, I wouldn't have associated this tip with laptop safety before. However, with Swine Flu (H1N1) so much on everyone's mind, I feel it may be useful to people.
Did you know that the University of Arizona did a study and discovered that there are more germs on a keyboard than on a toilet seat? Keep your keyboard as clean of germs as possible by wiping it with an antibacterial cloth, at least once a week. Make sure that the laptop is turned off before doing this.
About That Laptop Fire
There was a battery recall a while back. Apparently, there was some problem with Hewlett Packard laptop batteries, on certain models. I'm sure there must have been other computer companies who had to do the same at some time or another. The point is, a damaged or faulty battery has the potential to start a fire. Make sure yours is not on a recall list. If it is, get it replaced as soon as possible. If your battery is not on a recall list but is not working properly, same advice.
If you followed that link in the first part of this hub (about the laptop fire) and read the news report, you know that the fire began when a laptop was left on a couch. Bad idea. Very bad, in fact in this case, it was lethal. The computer in question also had a faulty battery. Those two things alone, caused one man to burn to death.
As I said before, I'm on my laptop for many hours every day. I always unplug it when I'm done at the end of the day and place it on a table for the night.
Recently, I had to get a new plug for my laptop. Why? Because I was working away late one night when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a bright little flash. When I investigated, I discovered that sparks were coming from my cord. I immediately pulled the plug from the wall and the next day, replaced it.
A fire can happen so easily. It only takes a couple of minutes to make sure that your cord is intact. Try using your laptop without the cord to make sure that your battery is working properly.
Hot Between the Sheets
- Laptops on Beds Can Lead to Fires, Safety Officials Warn | NBC4 Washington
If you leave your laptop tossed on your bed, what happened to a condo in Manassas, Va. could happen to you, reports News4 Consumer Reporter Liz Crenshaw.
Do You Practice Safe Laptop Computing? *** New Poll ***
How regularly do you engage in laptop safety and maintenance?See results without voting
Please Use Laptop Safety - It's Important!
If you're still not convinced that you need to pay attention to this topic, watch the video above again but imagine it's happening in your bedroom or livingroom. Around your family.
I don't want to scare anyone with the fire story, or suggest that you remain obsessively vigilant but please do practise some laptop safety. Not only will you suffer less physically but it just might save a life.
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