Mobile Office Ergonomics
While mobile office equipment like laptops and smart phones have long been essential for business travel, it’s tablets and Ultrabooks that dominate today’s airport lounges and train stations. It’s no wonder: these devices are light and slim, yet they’re really a complete mobile office, doing just as much as any desktop or bulkier laptop, whether that’s providing support for work on a Powerpoint Presentation or relaxing with a movie. But just because tablets and ultra-lightweight laptops are convenient, doesn’t mean they’re particularly fun or comfortable to work on for long periods of time.

That is, of course, unless they’re paired with lightweight travel accessories. Let’s take a deeper look at just what problems tend to arise with tablets and Ultrabooks and how certain accessories provide apt solutions.

The Problem: Typing

Tablet screens don’t provide any tactile feedback. This in turn leads most users to type with far more force than they should. It can really strain the fingers, wrists and hands. Ultrabooks of course offer keyboards, but their small size and flat layout forces hands and wrists to pronate. They are, therefore, less than ideal for ergonomic comfort. Don’t believe us? Just try typing out intensive documentation on a tablet for five hours straight and see how you feel. Tablet screens in particular can lose their touch sensitivity over time, which will cause you to apply an increasing amount of excess pressure over time, thereby exacerbating the situation even further.

The Solution: A Travel Keyboard

A travel keyboard like the Goldtouch Go!2 is so lightweight, you won’t even notice it in your laptop bag. Unlike most keyboards, it is fully adjustable due to a ball and socket in its middle, which allows the keyboard to break apart so that you can keep your wrists at an angle that’s most natural for you. It also allows for vertical tenting that will help you to naturally float your hands above the keyboard. When working on an airplane, just place this keyboard in your laptop and your device on the tray in front of you, and you’ll be good to go. When you’re done, simply fold the keyboard in two and its hard outside will act like a case, protecting the keys from damage. Voila! Ergonomic comfort, on the go.

Shop Ergonomic Keyboards

Goldtouch V2 Adjustable Keyboard | PC and Mac (USB)
Goldtouch V2 Adjustable Keyboard | PC Only (USB)
Goldtouch Go!2 Bluetooth Wireless Mobile Keyboard | PC and Mac
Goldtouch Go!2 Mobile Keyboard | PC and Mac

The Problem: Mousing

Prolonged use of Ultrabook trackpads (and any laptop trackpads, for that matter) is terrible for your fingers, which must hover constantly in a pinched position, and on wrists, which must constantly overextend as you navigate. Tablets are even worse. Not only do they come with the same issues as the Ultrabook trackpad, but they are also often vertically placed so that users can better see the screen, requiring an even more hyperextended wrist angle. Together, they’re both big contenders for the top Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Award.

The Solution:A Lightweight Ergonomic Wireless Mouse

The Goldtouch Comfort Mouse is specifically shaped with the human hand in mind. With a 24-degree slope, it gently guides your wrist and forearms into an ideal and natural position, without sacrificing precision. And with Bluetooth technology, you can take your mouse along without tangling up your already crowded laptop bag.

Shop Ergonomic Mice

Goldtouch Semi-Vertical Mouse Wireless (Right-Handed) Medium w/ Dongle
Goldtouch Semi-Vertical Mouse Wired (Right-Handed) Medium
Goldtouch USB Comfort Mouse | Right-Handed
Goldtouch Bluetooth Wireless Comfort Mouse | Right-Handed Only

The Problem: Screen Height

Most users like to place their tablets and Ultrabooks in their laps, especially when traveling. This may be convenient, but it leads to pronounced hunching, which puts stress and strain on backs and necks. In the short term, this can lead to fatigue and pain. In the long term, users may need more invasive and extensive procedures to correct what’s gone wrong.

The Solution: Laptop and Tablet Stands

With a laptop and tablet stand, you can easily adjust your screen height so it’s at just the right distance and is within easy viewing. When paired with other accessories like a travel keyboard and a mouse, placing your tablet screen vertically won’t put extra strain on your fingers and wrists when typing as mentioned above.

Shop Laptop & Tablet Stands

Go! Travel Laptop and Tablet Stand (Aluminum)
Goldtouch Go! Travel Laptop and Tablet Stand (Composite Resin)

The Takeaway

While tablets and Ultrabooks may be the stars of the mobile show, it’s those accessories that really ensure you’ll your work done comfortably on the road — all without weighing down your laptop bag. What are your favorite mobile workplace travel accessories? Let us know in the blog comments.