Risks of Using Your Laptop on Your Lap

Even though it’s called a laptop, should we really be using it on our laps? If you own a laptop, you’ve probably used it on your lap at some point; you might even be even using it on your lap right now as you’re reading this. It seems fine to do so because its name implies that your lap is the perfect place for your computer to sit. We depend on this equipment that we use every day and your lap seems like an ideal spot to keep your laptop for convenience… 

But is it worth it?  

What really happens when we use our laptops on our laps?

After reading this article you can decide. 

Researchers have studied this topic and it’s quite possible that using your laptop on your lap can cause some problems to your health, making this topic worth paying attention to. 

Here are the possible issues: 

  1. Using a wirelessly connected laptop on your lap can be harmful to the reproductive organs. For men, when your laptop is connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, using a laptop on your lap reduces human sperm motility while also fragmenting sperm DNA. Donors who were exposed to a Wi-Fi wireless connection demonstrated a decrease in sperm mobility while also developing an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation. In addition to decreasing male fertility, laptop use can make it difficult for women to conceive by delaying egg production. For women who are already pregnant, using a laptop on your baby bump can affect the development of the fetus. Some researchers do mention further studies will be required to prove it, which is perfectly fine, but this is enough evidence for me. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a start to something that may come out negatively in the future – there is some truth to the idea. If there’s a chance it’s going to harm my reproductive organs, there is NO WAY I’m taking a chance and you shouldn’t either.
  2. Skin issues: long periods of your laptop sitting on your lap could burn your skin and leave discolouration. This is known as toasted skin syndrome, which is caused by the heat your laptop gives off. The bottom of your laptop can get very hot (especially if you have overheating issues) because it just simply doesn’t breath very well. Laptops are meant to breath underneath a levelled surface and your skin isn’t the place for that. When I used to use my laptop on my lap/legs, I would sometimes notice a red marking once I was finished with it and lifted it up. I didn’t even realize that it was happening at the time. That just isn’t normal in any way. Studies have proved it. A hot laptop on your legs could lead to damage to the skin which could eventually develop into skin cancers. Some laptop users experience overheating issues and their laptop may get very hot; if you are one of these people that experience overheating issues, you definitely don’t want to be putting your laptop on your lap because it puts you at a higher risk for problems to your skin health.  
  3. Different forms of pain: Ever experienced upper body pain while using your laptop for a period of time? It’s not possible to maintain proper posture when you use your laptop on your lap. After long periods of usage, you may suffer from back and neck pains, and you might not even know why you’re having them. Bad posture can trigger this. 

So now that I’ve broke it down a little bit, let’s think about this for a minute instead of jumping to a conclusion that it’s not really possible. Some say it isn’t a risk, but why take a chance? Your laptop is placed on your lap, it’s filled with radiation, and there are signals from everything that we use, such as microwaves, cellphones and other electronics. Suddenly, using your laptop on your lap doesn’t seem like such a great idea!

Why is it called a laptop if it’s harmful to us? We automatically think it’s okay to use it on our laps just because of the name. I think laptops should be called portable computers, but that’s just my opinion. 

In the meantime, I’ve put together a short list of ways you can protect yourself from laptop usage.

  • To protect your below areas, look into getting a lap desk. It keeps your laptop safe from falling and yourself safe from these problems. It fits easily into your bags and you can take it with you everywhere your laptop goes. This will help to protect you completely! You can also use your tablets on it, as well as a desk for things like art, or writing, making it a 3 in 1. This option is a good one if you don’t have a desk or if you want to sit comfortably on the couch. Why not get one of these?
  • Protection shield pad: This pad specifically does what it was designed to do! Full protection from radiation and heat and you can sit comfortably on the couch while doing your work. 
  • Unplug your laptop: Using your laptop in battery mode is safer and reduces exposure quite a bit as there won’t be as much electricity. 
  • Use your laptop on a table or desk:  this also corrects poor posture. 
  • Stop using Wi-fi: If possible, refrain from using Wi-Fi because it is the issue here. An ethernet cable will be a better option. Most laptops today don’t come with ethernet ports, but you can buy an USB Network Adapter that will plug into your USB port. If you use your laptop for long periods of time, investing in a desktop could benefit you as desktops have ethernet combability. Use your laptop only when necessary.
  • Watch the time: use your laptop wisely. Plan out what you need to use it for and take breaks in between usage. 

We can’t avoid radiation – it’s in everything we use! If this article scared you a bit, I’m sorry. I really want to raise awareness about this topic so we can remain as healthy as possible and we can do as much as we can to stay safe while we do what we gotta do!

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