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Are Laptop Stands Ergonomic?

Yes! Laptop stands bring your screen closer to your eye level. With the repositioned screen, you can use an external keyboard and mouse to comfortably sit or stand upright.

man in blue denim jacket standing in front of silver macbook
Photo by Standsome Worklifestyle on Unsplash

Without some sort of separation between your screen and your keyboard and mouse, it’s really easy to have bad posture and hunch over as you use your computer.

woman in blue chambray long-sleeved top sitting on black leather chair with silver MacBook on lap
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

We all love to bring our laptops around the house and find interesting places to work. That’s part of the fun with having a laptop and working remotely from a home office.

But, I think it’s important to understand how a laptop stand can improve your overall working ergonomics.

Let’s get started.

1. How to help your posture with a laptop stand

There have been some weeks recently where my back wasn’t feeling the best. I thought maybe I was working too many hours without a break. Then, when I really thought about it, the reason my back hurt was because I was laying down with my laptop for a few hours at a time.

I believe a laptop stand can help your posture because it keeps your line of sight parallel, and limits the amount of strain on your neck when you are looking at your screen.

I was putting a huge amount of stress on my lower back and slouching my shoulders. So, of course my back hurt!

I fixed this by working from my standing desk for a few hours each day until my back felt better.

With my setup, I have an external monitor, a keyboard, a mouse and a laptop, off to the side. I use the laptop screen to store idle windows, like Slack and my email. I’ll sometimes take video calls from that screen as well.

Because I look at this screen, I prop up the laptop with a laptop screen to get it to be eye level. Without propping it up with a laptop stand, I’d have to glance down and strain my neck. Sure, this might not be an issue here and there. But, when you’re on a 30-minute video call, the time can really start to add up!

black flat screen computer monitor on brown wooden desk
Photo by Luke Peters on Unsplash

2. Improve your range of motion with your wrists while typing

When you use a laptop, you sort of need to use the keyboard that is on your laptop. Sure, you can plug in an external keyboard. But then your screen gets pushed a bit too far away. A laptop stand can raise the screen and tilt to allow for a more preferred viewing angle.

When I use my laptop on my desk, I constantly rub my wrists against the sharp edges of my MacBook. Weirdly, when I was working from a different country, my MacBook would shock me when I touched the corners. Yikes.

External keyboards are really helpful for allowing me to have a more comfortable typing experience. I am a big advocate of mechanical keyboards, as they help my typing accuracy and are customizable.

I’ll list a few of my favorite keyboards below. And, if you want to do more research about mechanical keyboards, check out mechanicalkeyboards.com.

  • Anne Pro 2. This keyboard is small and has quiet switches. It lacks arrow keys, but you can customize some in with a function-based keyboard layout. I used this keyboard for about a year and have no regrets.
  • Keychron k2. I like the idea of this 75% layout. You get dedicated arrow keys, but the keyboard doesn’t take up too much space on your desk. The keyboard also has some of the best reviews for what it’s able to do.
  • I’m currently using this Cooler Master Tenkeyless keyboard. It’s currently out of stock, but the tenkeyless layout is good! Mine has a dedicated delete button, which is really useful.

There are a few keyboards that are specifically made for ergonomics. I haven’t dabbled too much into them. The idea with them is that they split down the middle.

white computer keyboard on black table
Photo by Peppy Toad on Unsplash

The unique layout keys your wrists straight and prevents strain.

Okay, okay, this isn’t a keyboard article, so we’ll get back to laptop stands.

3. Create good posture while you’re standing

When you are working from a standing desk, you want to maintain a straight posture and keep your arms at a 45-degree angle. You want to keep your neck as neutral as possible, and avoid tilting your head down.

Check out the posture in this photo. It is a great example of what to look out for. Now, the standing desk is a bit DIY, but if it works, it works.

man in gray crew neck t-shirt using macbook pro
Photo by JP Lockwood on Unsplash

Without a laptop stand, it’s almost impossible to have a straight posture. You can see in the photo below that the woman is looking down. Over time, this won’t be a comfortable position and pain and injury could be imminent.

woman in black long sleeve shirt sitting on black chair
Photo by Standsome Worklifestyle on Unsplash

4. Updated distance of your keyboard and mouse

When you use a laptop stand with a keyboard and a mouse, you can start to stack some of the benefits from above.

Using an external keyboard and mouse setup allows you to put your peripherals in the ideal position. If you’re stretching too far (or not enough), your shoulders can start to get out of balance from their natural position.

The laptop stand helps facilitate the ideal position for you, in which to use your laptop.

Check out this example below. It looks like the desk is a little too high. There are a few things that could be done to correct this. Moving the screen up will help straighten out the back. Also, raising the chair will create more breathing room to use the keyboard and mouse.

man in green crew neck t-shirt sitting on black office rolling chair
Photo by Raj Rana on Unsplash

In the example below, you can see that this man is working in a much more relaxed setup. The laptop is suspended close to the external monitor. The monitor is also extended to give a bit more height.

The only thing we need to fix is for him to get a stand for the laptop on the left.

man in blue shirt using computer
Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

5. Laptop stands can help raise your entire setup

Laptop stands come in all shapes and sizes. You can use a laptop stand that functions more like a standing desk. You can use something like this to increase the height of your entire setup so that you can stand while you work.

Sitting for an extended period of time is not good. You’ll end up crossing your legs, sitting crooked, slouched over and everything in between.

When you stand, you have no escape. Standing while working at home also helps you focus, increase circulation and so many other great benefits.

One of the more premium examples of these desk-converting laptop stands is the Ergotron. I’ve been in offices when people use products like this. It can be a great way to get both of best worlds, without needing to change out your desk.