Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Six Tips to Reduce Pain When Using an iPad

Spending hours using an iPad or other tablet can cause neck and shoulder problems, according to experts at the Harvard School of Public Health. A simple shift in viewing angle can change everything, according to a recent report from Harvard Health Letter, which offers tips for preventing pain when using a tablet or computer.

Holding a tablet computer too low, say on the lap, forces the neck to bend forward too much, straining and possibly even injuring muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments or spinal discs. Simply placing a tablet on a table propped at an angle in a tablet case can reduce neck strain and potential pain, according to research conducted by Jack Dennerlein, adjunct professor of ergonomics and safety at the Harvard School of Public Health, and his colleagues.

The number one tip for reducing pain, researchers say, is taking a break. “Change your position every 15 minutes,” says Dennerlein. Other tips include:

When using an iPad or tablet:
  • Use a case that positions the device at a comfortable viewing angle.
  • Routinely shift hands and weight; stand up if seated, or sit down if standing.
When using a laptop or desktop computer, follow the same tips for a tablet, plus:
  • Use an external keyboard.
  • Keep shoulders relaxed and elbows close to the body.
  • Keep hands, wrists, forearms and thighs parallel to the floor.