There are always a number of laptop computers in meetings at ITER. People are busy checking online materials, taking notes, and performing other miscellaneous tasks. Laptops offer the power of some desktop computers, while typically weighing far less. Although extremely convenient, laptop computers do present some problems, notably with ergonomics and heat generation.
A keyboard in a well-designed computer workstation should sit low and tilt downward toward the user. The screen top should sit near eye height. Setting the laptop on a stand that tilts the base down in front and up in back can help. Laptop users are also advised to take several stretch breaks per hour and to avoid resting their forearms on sharp-edged work surfaces.
Heat generated by lithium ion batteries can cause problems. Skin burns, equipment damage and fire can occur. Users should ensure they have adequate space below their computers, unblock ventilation ports and make sure that cooling fans are running. A laptop stand, such as the one mentioned above, can help to efficiently channel air through the computer. This added airflow helps to cool a laptop's lithium ion batteries, which also helps to extend their service life. return to Newsline #72