If you work on a laptop, then we’re sure you’re familiar with the dreaded “laptop hunch”. It looks horrible and feels awful. The pain in your neck, shoulders, and back when using a laptop can be crippling.

In fact we recently read that more than 50% of college-aged kids today report pain from computer use. 1 in 7 can’t spend more than 1 hour on a computer before they are limited by some form of neck, shoulder, or wrist pain.

Not only does this affect your health, but it can also affect your productivity; let’s face it, one can only tolerate that discomfort or pain for so long. So the more comfortable your body is, the better your work output will be.

Of course physical therapists and chiropractors are all too familiar with the health problems your workspace can create. They’ve been warning people about the importance of ergonomics in the office for years now. [Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them.]

Over the last few years our time spent working on a laptop has significantly increased, and these days we can spend at least 8 hours a day in front of a laptop.

And like most people, the laptop hunch has definitely started to take a toll!

Although we could see this in each other’s posture, it wasn’t until Natasha was editing her Yoga video as our free website sign up gift, that she saw for herself just how bad her posture had become.

We had tried makeshift standing desks in the past, but they felt awkward and we couldn’t stand for very long as our feet and legs would hurt. Don’t get us wrong, standing desks are a wonderful idea and promote excellent posture, but we personally found it difficult to get used to.

So, we were on the hunt for an alternative… what could make our laptop set up more ergonomic?

One major obstacle we face is that we tend to change our work location regularly. Call us “digital nomads” or “location independent” … basically, our workspace is not a consistent set up and we’re not always in control of what furniture we will be working at.

For example, when we travel and take our work with us, the height of our table and chairs are always changing, and often the furniture we use is not adjustable … and obviously we can’t travel with our own furniture!

We feared the laptop hunch may become a permanent feature, until we discovered a little gem of equipment that has literally revolutionized our workspace.

It’s called The Roost … and we love it!

This little beauty is the world’s most portable, eye-level laptop stand. It elevates your screen to prevent the dreaded laptop hunch.

The Roost is adjustable and can elevate your laptop screen 6 – 11 inches (15.2 – 28 cms) above the table. Now some of you might be thinking, big deal, I can use a shoe box to do that! But unlike a shoe box, the Roost tilts your laptop forward. We found the tilt feature allows you to bring the screen closer to you and it just feels very comfortable.

In fact we later worked out that this was perhaps the reason why our makeshift standing desk made of stacking serval boxes, didn’t feel right and was difficult to work with. It’s the tilting feature of the Roost that makes this product and set up extremely user friendly in our opinion.

In fact as soon as we set the stand up, our immediate reaction was “whoa! It’s a perfect fit, like a Cinderella slipper!”

Although the Roost can be used by anyone in any work space, for minimalist digital nomads, this stand is a dream come true. Why? Because at only 6oz (170 grams), it’s incredibly light weight and folds down to a super slim size taking up hardly any room 1.30 x 1.17 x 13 inches (3.3 x 3.0 x 33.0 cm).

Its portability means we can carry the Roost with us on all our travels without any problems; it gives us the freedom to work anywhere.

And it also means that we now have at least some control over the ergonomics of our work space. The Roost is the best answer for digital nomads, or people who travel for work, to achieve some level of ergonomics while on the road.

As we mentioned before, when traveling and working in different locations, we can’t control what height the furniture is, but now at least we can control the height of our laptop. The Roost is the best we can do to protect our bodies and health when working online in unpredictable setups.

Now although some of you reading this may not be digital nomads, the Roost may still be helpful for you. Because it’s so portable, you can take it to school, work, or anywhere you usually pull out your laptop to get some work done. Let’s face it, you can’t pack your standing desk or shoe box in your bag to make your laptop workstation more ergonomic! But you can easily take the Roost anywhere.

You will need to invest in an external keyboard and mouse, but trust us, it’s worth it … and so is your neck, shoulders, and back. Here are the external keyboards we use and recommend for Mac and PC.

 

Now we have to admit, when it first arrived in the mail, it was so light and small that we thought we were going to snap it apart when setting up! But it’s incredibly strong… seriously, when the team at Roost say “extreme strength and durability”, they mean it! In fact the Roost can hold over 50lbs! So it will hold and fit just about any make and model laptop, the only requirement is that the “front edge” of the laptop chassis is less than 0.75″ (1.9 cm) thick. We have a Roost stand each and use them for our Macbook Pro (13.3 inch) and ASUS (15.6 inch) laptops. And for such a light frame, the stability of the Roost is amazing! 

So, although we don’t support mindless consumerism, we’re also very practical and do believe it’s important to invest in quality equipment that will make your life easier and healthier.

After about a week of working with the Roost, we’re never going back!

We hope this review was helpful and saves some of you longterm laptop users from dealing with health problems down the track.

And please know that this was not a paid promotion… we were sent two Roost stands to test and review, but the opinions we expressed in this blog were our own.

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