I have been using a standard laptop for education/office work, since about 10 years.

I have been using an external monitor, as a secondary display, since about 3 years, and find it useful.

Been reading up about ergonomics for past few months and I find that my current setup needs to improve for the typical reasons of keyboard position and screen height. Seems the solution is to use the external monitor as a primary display along with an external keyboard (I already use an external mouse)

Problem: I feel strangely uncomfortable when using external display as primary. Something like inability to focus on deep work. Even though my posture is ergonomically correct in the new setup.

Thus, after a few hours, I reverted to my usual less ergonomic way of working, laptop being the primary display and using laptop keyboard.

Has anyone experienced this? Could it just be that I need more time to adjust or is it something well known? I'm looking for more help.

I tried looking up online but couldn't find anything relevant. Please let me know if this question can fit elsewhere on stack exchange.

  • 1
    Most people can eventually adjust to any kind of keyboard. But, if you prefer certain way or certain thing, then what is wrong with going your own way ? Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 5:55
  • Are you being pressured or outright forced into a specific setup? Do you need equipment for your preferred setup that the company won't provide? Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 13:10
  • -1, this question is fairly open ended and opinion based and cannot result in hard answers outside of “do what you think is comfortable” Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 13:50
  • @Job_September_2020 I want to try the ergonomic way, makes me feel weirdly non productive. Asking for help/similar experiences
    – DS R
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 15:44
  • @ComicSansSeraphim No pressure and I have equipment. I find ergonomic position not conducive for deep work.
    – DS R
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 15:53

2 Answers 2


ergonomically correct

My experience is it doesn't matter so long as you are getting regular exercise and not just spending most of your time in that posture.

The more important thing over time is the strain on your eyes. A large external monitor set at a different distance from your laptop screen can help with this.

  • Thanks, I believe you understand my situation; a bit difficult to explain. True, I am getting very less exercise and correcting that can help.
    – DS R
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 12:23
  • 2
    Even very low level, low impact exercise does wonders if it targets the correct areas.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 21:30

I've been using a laptop for all of my work for about 17 years. The laptop display is 15" and I have two external 27" monitors attached. I use one of the external monitors as my primary display. I also use an external keyboard and mouse. Everything works great.

If you aren't using an external keyboard, it means that you have the laptop sitting directly in front of you and the external monitor is off to one side. This mean that you are typing on the keyboard but your head is turned to one side to see the results on the external monitor. Get an external keyboard and put the external monitor directly in front of you with the laptop off to one side. That may help.

  • Thanks for the answer. Your 2nd paragraph (1st half) describes what I've been doing and mostly feel at home. But realised that working on laptop itself (even without 2nd monitor) is non ergonomic. I did try making my external monitor as primary and using a proper external keyboard. Now, this feel ergonomically fine. But, I don't feel "at home", seem unable to focus on deep work. Thus, had to revert to initial setup. Just asking for thoughts/inputs on that.
    – DS R
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 15:41

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