iPads are a Pain in the Neck

8.28.12

The iPad has changed how we consume info—liberating millions from their desks. But now researchers warn that iPad related neck injuries are a very real risk.

In a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers are warning that the use of an iPad or any other tablet risks the development of repetitive stress injuries to the neck or shoulders. The way users position themselves to use their tablet devices, often with less than great posture and for sustained periods of time, can lead to chronic pain and medical bills.

The lead writer of the Harvard study, Jack Dennerlein explained, "If you think about your position when you are hunched over looking down, your head is hanging out over space, so you are using your neck muscles to support the weight."

Apple has made no comment on the Harvard study.

Here are a few ways to avoid or “cure” your neck pain:

  1. Assume the correct body position. Sit in a relaxed position with your forearms at a 90 degree angle and your head facing forward, rather than hunched over at a downward angle.
  2. Be conscious of the angle your body position is to the screen. The ideal way to hold your screen is at an angle, not flat on a table or straight up vertically.
  3. Use an external keyboard. It may seem against the spirit of a tablet being a “mobile” device, but using an external keyboard, rather than the one on the screen, tends to help ensure better viewing angles. Many cases are available that include Bluetooth connecting keyboards. [Check out this video round-up of some of the best iPad external keyboards on the market]
  4. Keep on Moving. Don’t stay in one position for too long. On a long flight or even at home, adjust your position every 20-30 minutes and take a break each hour by getting up and moving around.

If your pain continues, see a medical professional for an evaluation.

Did you know that Links Technology has full-time, on-staff Apple and Android support technicians who can assist you and your organization with getting the most out of your tablet or smartphone? Learn more about our Technology Support Services.

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