Don’t Be A Laptop Loser!

Laptops and Ergonomics: this is almost a contradiction! With a fixed design, if the keyboard is in an optimal position for the user, the screen isn’t and if the screen is optimal the keyboard isn’t. This results in a higher incidence of repetitive strain injuries than the desktop computer. Laptops were originally designed for convenience during travel, meetings and for their portability. They were not designed for continued or permanent usage. However, the incidence and popularity of usage as a user’s primary computer has increased dramatically. Walk into any coffee shop in Yaletown, and one could make a study of poor ergonomics! Ouch! Combined with a poor work station at home, it’s even worse now with many people forced to work from home during this crisis.

There are several factors will increase the likelihood of future chronic pain.  The furniture in hotel rooms, trains, cars, or planes, and at home, is invariably inadequate for laptop use. Lighting conditions are often not adjusted for laptop use. Therefore, glare, combined with improper viewing angle and lack of display adjustability often results in awkward posture. The narrow viewing angle of Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) is poorly suited to sharing, discussion, and collaboration with multiple people.

Research carried out by Dr Benedyk discovered that 57 per cent of respondents to their student survey had experienced aches and pains as a result of their laptop use, with an overwhelming majority unaware of proper ergonomics on using laptops. 649 undergraduate and postgraduate students from a range of nationalities completed the set of survey questions. 166 teaching staff responded to a separate online survey. The most prevalent aches and pains were in the neck (21 per cent), shoulders (21 per cent), wrists (16 per cent), back (15 per cent) and eyes (11 per cent). Many survey respondents admitted to having frequently positioned their laptop on their laps (42 per cent), in bed (29 per cent) and on the floor (13 per cent).

Common Signs and Symptoms of Overuse Injuries from Poor Laptop Ergonomics:

  • Muscle fatigue, aches which initially subside during rest
  • Tight band of pain across shoulders or back
  • Pain or stiffness when changing positions, or rising from bed in the mornings
  • Difficulty in finger, thumb or wrist movement
  • Difficulty gripping things
  • Numbness, tingling, weakness, burning or pain
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty concentrating due to discomfort
  • To name a few!!

Some Simple Tips:

1. Put the laptop in a docking station or sit it on some books so that the top of the screen is roughly level with your forehead

2. Attach an external keyboard and mouse and set these up in an ergonomic fashion whenever possible. A wireless keyboard and mouse can be purchased relatively inexpensively these days.

3.  Move the laptop close enough so you do not hold your head forward to see what is on the screen. Sit back in the chair and keep your head directly over your shoulders.

4. Avoid working on the hotel bed or at a table that is too high or low. Use a small pillow to support your lower back.

5. Buy a roller bag or backpack with straps to decrease strain while transporting the laptop, instead of a shoulder or handbag.

6.  Avoid working in lighting that is too bright or behind your screen to avoid leaning in to see the screen creating eye strain.

7. Set a reminder to pop up to let you know when it is time to stand up and stretch!

8.  When working from home, take advantage of your space, roll out a yoga mat and take some regular stretch breaks.


The reality is that our bodies are really not designed to be sitting for the amount of time that we do these days. We are designed to be in motion!!  Our joints, bones, ligaments and muscles respond best and are the healthiest when they have regular use. So if you have a job that requires sitting for long periods of time, make sure you incorporate a regular exercise routine into your leisure time activities. You should stand up every half hour just to get the blood flowing through your neck, back & legs. Stand up and stretch by walking around a bit. This will relieve tension from your system and reduce overall stress.

If someone you know is suffering from the results of poor work ergonomics needlessly, start with calling our office to schedule yourself, or someone you know in for a check up appointment to see what treatment options are available to you.

~Dr. Gertz



March 21, 2020

Dear Patients,

As the health and safety of our patients and staff is of the greatest importance to us, in following public health authority recommendations on social distancing we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close our clinic in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Please be advised that Pacific Chiropractic and Massage Therapy will be closed effective immediately until Tuesday March 31, 2020.

All scheduled appointments during this time period will be postponed, and patients will be contacted as soon as possible to reschedule.

You can book future appointments from our online booking system, “Request an Appointment” form submission (both located on our website), send us an email or call to leave a message. Note: only regular RMT appointments or new chiropractic appointments can be booked using the online booking system.

Please note that we will be monitoring advisories by the public health authorities closely and will update you if we need to extend this projected re-opening date.

When the office re-opens, please read the our COVID19 Office Preparedness information prior to attending your appointment.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  Please read any prior notices in this blog.  We recognize the importance of your health care appointments and appreciate your understanding as we navigate this unprecedented and challenging situation together.

Stay Safe and Healthy,

Dr. Gordon Gertz

Pacific Chiropractic and Massage Therapy



March 10, 2020

Dear Patient,

As health care providers, your chiropractic and massage therapy healthcare team share in the increasing global concern about COVID-19. We want you to know we are taking the situation very seriously. As a doctor, I rely on information which is scientifically proven and medically backed and, accordingly, are closely monitoring and adhering to the advice given by public health officials.

Our commitment to putting the health and safety of our patients and staff first is unwavering. We have always taken pride in the cleanliness of our clinics and we would like to advise you of some of the risk mitigation measures we are taking to help protect you and the community during this time:

  • Continuing the sanitization processes for all medical equipment, tools and treatment tables after each individual use
  • Continuing and increasing sanitization protocols to all clinic touchpoints including, but not limited to, door handles, desks, display units, and payment terminals
  • Inserting sanitizer dispensers at points where you may touch door handles
  • Spreading out visit times to minimize contact with others
  • Removing and spacing out waiting room chairs to allow for social distancing.  During this time, we also ask patients to arrive as close to their appointment as possible to limit time spent in common areas.
  • Removing all magazines from our waiting rooms
  • Continuing to follow safe hygiene practices

Further, every treatment room is isolated (as opposed to other rehab or physio clinics with open treatment rooms).  As a result, any possible interaction with other patients is greatly limited.

If you have an upcoming appointment at one of our clinics and are experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or have travelled or been in contact with individuals who have travelled outside of Canada, we request that for everyone’s safety you contact our team by phone or email to reschedule your appointment. Please be advised that ignoring these guidelines could result in refusal of treatment upon arrival.

 BC Health Services Authority has valuable information and recommendations to follow which you can access through the following link:

As the situation continues to evolve, please be assured that we will be constantly reassessing and adapting our processes to adhere to the latest updates and health guidelines. If you have any questions and/or concerns, you can email us, submit a request online or give us a call.

For information on safe hygiene practices we are providing the following Health Canada link for your convenience:

We hope you’ll find it of use.
Stay Safe and Healthy,
Dr. Gordon Gertz

Pacific Chiropractic and Massage Therapy