How Dangerous Is It to Use a Laptop on Your Lap?

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2022)

Read our article on the best laptop lap desks!

How dangerous is it to use a laptop on your lap? Can this be bad for your overall health? 

A laptop is probably your best tool when working or studying on the go. This small wonder is portable, flexible, and lightweight.

Many laptop owners used the device on their lap because of its mobility and meant to be there, as its name suggests.

However, using a laptop on your lap has sparked a lot of debate regarding possible health risks. 

In case you are wondering, yes, there are harmful health effects of using a laptop on your lap. Laptops are made to emit electromagnetic frequency (EMF), and these can be dangerous to your health to varying degrees.

But apart from the threat of radiation, using laptops on your lap can be harmful to your physical health, leading to back and neck problems and other spine damages if you are using your computer often on your lap and for an extended period every day. 

Prevention is always better than cure. There are many ways you can protect yourself from radiation exposure.

Using proper laptop ergonomics can help decrease physical pain and fatigue associated with prolonged laptop use. 

Read below to know why laptops are not for laps and what you can do about it. 

Read our article on the best laptop lap desks!

5 reasons why laptops are not for laps

Laptops are not made for the lap. Here are some of the reasons why you have to stop making that habit. 

1. It can cause back and neck pains.

How Dangerous Is It to Use a Laptop on Your Lap?

Using a laptop frequently on your lap can lead to posture problems and eventually push back and neck pains.

The position always requires you to slouch your back and put your neck forward, causing pressure to your spine.

You can try many ergonomic setups, like always placing the laptop on a table and using a comfortable chair that supports the range.

There are also many other accessories like a laptop holder you can take advantage of to protect your back and neck. 

2. It can alter your sleeping pattern.

How Dangerous Is It to Use a Laptop on Your Lap?

Sometimes, when you open your laptop at night to finish a task or stream videos, there is a tendency for you to use it longer than expected.

The light from the laptop screen can suppress the level of melatonin, leaving you without the urge to sleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone of the body that helps regulate the sleep and wake cycle.

Exposure to screen lights from gadgets can ultimately alter the melanin produced, causing insomnia in the long run.

Make it a habit to finish work before you sleep or if you really must open your laptop on the bed, try to make it as short as possible, and avoid making it a habit. 

Read our article on the best laptop lap desks!

3. It can irritate and burn the skin. 

How Dangerous Is It to Use a Laptop on Your Lap?

A laptop emits heat, and you can feel it when you use the device for an extended period of time.

Placing it on your lap makes you feel the heat even more and can also cause skin damages. Erythema Ab Igne or laptop-induced dermatitis is characterized by rash or patchy skin.

While the condition is most of the time harmless and can resolve on its own, it can be painful to some and cause permanent skin coloration.

There are laptop coolers available in the market to prevent the device from overheating, but even so, this is not a reason to place it on your lap. 

4. Possible reproductive problems. 

How Dangerous Is It to Use a Laptop on Your Lap?

According to some studies, using laptops on your lap and against your reproductive organs can affect the fertility level, especially in men.

The radiation emitted in the device can cause damages to the DNA of sperm cells. This is according to the study conducted by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

There are debates among medical experts regarding this even today, but there is no harm in keeping those organs safe. 

5. Possible pregnancy risk.

Some studies suggest that laptops’ radiation can affect the growing baby in a pregnant woman’s tummy, and the heat produced by the laptop can cause birth defects.

However, experts believed that low radiation and exposure don’t possess threats, but to be safe, avoid placing the laptop near your belly when pregnant and working. 

Read our article on the best laptop lap desks!

Laptop Radiation

The sun naturally sends powerful waves like EMFs to earth since the beginning of time.

Aside from the other natural waves of the sun that can be both dangerous and bearable to humans, EMF energies are visible through the sun’s natural light.

Many appliances and electrical devices use the same EMFs to produced power. Since almost everyone in the world has access to these devices daily, many people are exposed to high volumes of EMF.

But there are two types of EMF exposure, according to Low-level or non-ionizing radiation can be found in devices such as cellphones and laptops are generally mild and less harmful.

The high-level or ionizing radiation that can be found in the sun’s ultraviolet rays and medical devices such as Xray can be detrimental. People are advised to protect themselves from exposure to these for a long time. 

Many Laptops can emit an EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation level of up to 150mG (milliGauss).  According to educate, this is not an official number but the most common maximum given number.

The amount of EMF laptops produces varies per usage — a laptop will have more EMF if it requires more power, like when you are doing a lot of things or charging it. 

However, while there is a health risk as identified by experts, there is no strong research to back up the amount of harm to EMF human’s health yet, which goes to both ionizing and non-ionizing.

To protect consumers, an organization called the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection provides general guidelines that companies follow for EMF exposure.

This is observed as a safety guideline to prevent possible future problems, like the risk of likely cancer.

High levels of EMFs can cause neurological and physiological problems, expert agrees. But people, even with all the gadgets and appliances, are not exposed to this level every day.

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