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Is Netbook Fatigue a New Syndrome?



Interesting timing. Last night my lovely wife Thomasin was clacking away on the keyboard of her HP Mini 1000 while sitting on the sofa. (The picture is from an earlier post.) After doing her thing for awhile, she uttered an expletive, and said she needed to put the Mini down as she felt some pain in her shoulders and hands.

This morning James Kendrick puts up a post about Netbook fatigue wondering if those using Netbooks are experiencing similar kinds of things, as well as some eye strain, with their small devices. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that Thomasin uses the Netbook (she did the same thing with the Asus Eee) much more than she ever would go into our small home office to use the computer and I see her scrunched over the Mini on the sofa, the floor, in the bed, and in a chair at times. This was the first time she complained about feeling uncomfortable.

In using the HP Mini 2140 lately, I haven’t experienced any issues beyond the usual fatigue I experience when I’m at any keyboard (mobile or desktop) too long, but I’m typically sitting with it on a desktop, or on a lapdesk at home. While my posture might not be perfect in an ergonomic way, I feel that I’m at least comfortable while doing this.

Interesting conversation.



  1. everbrave

    03/04/2009 at 10:35 am

    that is anything but new, Warner! The body attitude while using a computer (in general) can, in fact, be quite unhealthy for wrist, back and neck. Your lovely wife should make “dynamic breaks” where she moves or just limit the computer use. Take care!

  2. Xavier

    03/04/2009 at 11:33 am

    My hands/wrists are fine when I use netbooks with a decent sized keyboard like the Mini 2140, but then again I don’t typically type on them for hours on end.

    I do have to bend my neck/back to use them while on my lap. Best used on a cafe table or desk.

  3. Steppenwolf

    03/04/2009 at 12:02 pm

    This is something that bothers me since I first bought a TC1100. My eyesight has indeed suffered from staring at a 10″ screen, not something that a good 8 hours sleep could not heal though. Neck had never been affected until a few months ago, when I quit weightlifting et similia. Since then I have a constant subtle ache on the left of my cervical tract.

  4. Corinne

    03/04/2009 at 12:12 pm

    I think it is, lol. My eyes have certainly been hurting. But then again, I also need a new prescription so it could be a combination.

  5. Michael Evans

    03/04/2009 at 4:24 pm

    I agree with everbrave. This has very little to do with netbooks and a great deal to do with slumping posture, weak upper body, odd positioning, and overall aging. Regular stretching, occasional therapeutic massage, and awareness are all good responses. I have also purchased a laptop stand that forces me to sit up properly and place my hands on the keyboard in a manner that really reduces stress. Getting old sucks…..

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