Don’t let the name ‘laptop’ fool you. Laptops aren’t for laps. The truth is that laptops can be harmful to your health and dangerous if placed on your lap, especially for an extended period of time.
There are several reasons why using your laptop on your lap is considered harmful. The three main ones are wifi/EMF radiation, temperature, and posture. Many laptop companies specifically warn against using their product on your lap, though oftentimes these warnings go unseen or ignored by consumers.
Dangers Of Using Your Laptop On Your Lap
As with any electronics device, your personal laptop is not without safety precautions. It’s always a good idea to read your owner’s manual before using your personal laptop.
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t use your laptop on your lap, including the following health issues:
- Mild Burns
- Toasted Skin Syndrome
- Wifi/ELF Radiation
- Fertility Issues
- Head, Neck and Wrist problems
Laptops give off heat while they are in use. Prolonged exposure to this heat can cause burns on your thighs and upper legs. The best way to avoid this is by not using laptop on your lap or by purchasing a laptop shield.
Toasted Skin Syndrome
Toasted skin syndrome is caused by prolonged heat on your skin. This syndrome usually affects people who study or play games for long periods of time with their laptops sitting on their laps. As a result, their skin develops a rash with blotchy brown spots all over the area that was exposed to the heat. The skin may also look pink or red. Mild burns can happen on your skin with heat temperatures between 109-116 Fahrenheit.
Toasted skin syndrome typically happens around 111 degrees Fahrenheit. This is exactly why laptops are not meant for laps. A great solution to this problem is to either place your laptop on a table or to get a heat shield that will make it safe for your lap.
Wifi and your laptop give off radiation. The internal parts of your laptop computer heat up and radiate. ELF radiation refers to electromagnetic low frequency radiation. When these devices are connected to Wifi or Bluetooth they emit even higher frequencies of EMF radiation, called radio frequency (RF) and microwave (MW) radiation.
Putting a wifi device in close proximity to your lap can be dangerous for your body. Some of the effects of this type of radiation can be seen by rashes or even muscles soreness. And many studies link exposure to this type of radiation to more severe health effects, including cancer. This is why the World Health Organization designates this kind of EMF as a Class 2B Carcinogen.
Even the manufacturers of these products warn about using your laptop on you lap. The best solution is to use a laptop shield or put your laptop on a table or desk.
Research is still being done on this topic. While a laptop may not cause fertility issues in women, it may have an impact in men. The temperature of the laptop may cause a lower sperm count due to being exposed to prolonged heat. And there is an increasing body of evidence that your laptop’s EMF radiation can also damage sperm health. Fertility is definitely one reason why laptops aren’t for laps. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Head, Neck and Wrist Problems
Sitting with your laptop on your lap is a recipe for bad posture. You should sit at a 100 degree to 110 degree angle with your wrists flat or using a supportive device while working on a computer. If you use your laptop on your lap for an extended amount of time you can give yourself head, neck and wrist problems.
Improper posture can cause an aching back or neck, as well as pain in the shoulder area and in hands and wrists. The best possible place to use your laptop is at a desk, sitting upright. This will reduce the risk of long term health problems due to poor posture.
This YouTube Video will help you to understand a bit more about laptop posture.
How To Make Your Laptop Less Dangerous
Laptop safety is not rocket science. All you need to do is protect yourself from burns, posture issues and radiation. The single safest thing you can do to improve your health and reduce the risks of using a laptop is to place your laptop on a desk or table while you use it.
Alternatively, you can consider using a laptop shield, which can protect you from harmful radiation and heat. Most of these shields are lightweight and quite portable.
SYB make a really great laptop radiation shield. You can learn more about the SYB Laptop Pad here.
Many of the things you can do to protect your health from EMF radiation are easy and completely free. Read more healthy living tips here.