Ergonomics and health

Because of their small and flat keyboard and trackpad pointing devices, prolonged use of laptops can cause repetitive strain injury.[47] Usage of separate, external ergonomic keyboards and pointing devices is recommended to prevent injury when working for long periods of time; they can be connected to a laptop easily by USB or via a docking station. Some health standards require ergonomic keyboards at workplaces.

The integrated screen often causes users to hunch over for a better view, which can cause neck or spinal injuries. A larger and higher-quality external screen can be connected to almost any laptop to alleviate that and to provide additional "screen estate" for more productive work.

A study by State University of New York researchers found that heat generated from laptops can raise the temperature of the scrotum when balancing the computer on one's lap, potentially putting sperm count at risk. The small study, which included little more than two dozen men aged 21 to 35, found that the sitting position required to balance a laptop can raise scrotum temperature by as much as 2.1 °C (3.8 °F). Heat from the laptop itself can raise the temperature by another 0.7 °C (1.4 °F), bringing the potential total increase to 2.8 °C (5.2 °F). However, further research is needed to determine whether this directly affects sterility in men.[48]

A common practical solution to this problem is to place the laptop on a table or desk. Another solution is to obtain a cooling unit for the laptop, these units are usually USB powered consist of a hard thin plastic case housing 1, 2 or 3 cooling fans (the whole thing is designed to sit under a laptop) which results in the laptop remaining cool to the touch, and greatly reduces laptop heat generation. There are several companies which make these coolers.

Heat from using a laptop on the lap can also cause skin discoloration on the thighs


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