London/A survey in Britain has shown that people who use their laptops on the floor, in bed or on their laps are likely to develop injuries in their neck, shoulders and wrists. The survey says regular breaks are necessary to prevent damage.
The survey by University College London found 57 percent of those surveyed had experienced aches and pains due to laptop use.
One in five had neck and shoulder pains, while 16 percent said they suffered wrist ache and 15 percent said their back hurt, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.
On an average, the students surveyed used their laptops for almost five-and-a-half hours a day, which would be considered extensive in a risk assessment, said ergonomist Rachel Benedyk, who led the research.
Benedyk said: 'University students use their laptops quite differently from school pupils - they want the portability and flexibility of a laptop, but they use them highly intensively in a complex and variable environment.'
Sale of notebooks and laptops soared in India last year. According to the Indian Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology (MAIT), notebook sales grew by a whopping 180 percent between April and September 2006.
Vikas Gupta, an orthopaedic surgeon at New Delhi's Fortis Hospital, said: 'I get at least four-five patients every week with hand and arm pain due to repetitive strain injury, which is induced by resting wrists against the edge of a laptop.'
'The number of cases has been increasing in the past two years and most of the patients are young executives who use laptops excessively.'
The researchers in London have created a leaflet with tips for students while using laptops. It advises them to choose a laptop with as large and clear a screen as possible (14' diagonal or more).
It says one should sit with the laptop centrally aligned with body with wrists in line with forearms, shoulders relaxed and back supported.
Make sure the laptop is stable and will not wobble or slide as you work, rest your eyes frequently and blink more to prevent them feeling dry, it adds.