The effect of using a laptopstation compared to using a standard laptop PC on the cervical spine torque, perceived strain and productivity

Appl Ergon. 2004 Mar;35(2):147-52. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2003.11.008.


The objective of this study was to assess the effect of using a laptopstation and a laptop PC and how this difference in work set-up affected the mechanical load on the neck (C7-Th1 segment), the subjective evaluation of strain on the neck and productivity. Ten healthy male students at Umeå University, Sweden with an average of 10 years of PC work experience and an average of 18 months of laptop PC work experience participated in the study. For each research subject measurements were divided into two parts; sitting working at the ErgoQ laptopstation in test situation A, and sitting working at a conventional laptop PC, test situation B. Each part took 4h and was scheduled on two consecutive days. Photography and biomechanical analysis was used to calculate the torque at the neck. To examine perceived strain the Borg Scale was used and to assess performance a productivity score was calculated. The results in the study demonstrated a significant (p<0.05) difference with the use of the laptopstation resulting in decreased torque at the C7-Th1 segment, less perceived strain at the neck and a higher productivity score. In conclusion, the results of the study confirm the importance of adjustable work tools that recognize anthropometric differences and biomechanics to meet the needs of individual customers during continuous visual display terminal work.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiopathology*
  • Efficiency*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microcomputers* / classification
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology*