iPosture? Are Tablet Computers Resulting In Shoulder and Neck Problems?

It does not matter if you’re an Apple enthusiast, an Android fanatic or a keen Microsoft customer, you cannot ignore the worldwide popularity of tablet devices. The statistics are clear - technology marketplace experts determine that over 200 million units are bought in America annually. Although you might not be up to date with the most recent technology developments, you will be aware mobile gadgets - mostly mobile phones and tablets - are very common place. From cafes and grocery stores to airport terminals and train platforms, they appear to be everywhere. Additionally more and more companies are starting to provide their sales and service personnel along with their management teams with this innovation. They’re even showing up in hospitals and offices of health care professionals!

Although tablets definitely have their advantages, recent scientific studies indicates that they definitely include their disadvantages in terms of musculoskeletal well-being. It has previously been proven that regular text messaging on your mobile device results in issues with neck problems (the “text neck” epidemic), and people who utilize their tablet for all sorts of things from work related functions to simply browsing the net and viewing full-length films could be in for additional pain. The anecdotal proof has been showing up in the waiting areas of chiropractors around the nation, and research studies at top educational institutions are starting to really investigate the ergonomics and dangers of using a tablet. 

The outcomes of an academic study printed in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation discovered that the tablet use was related to increased head and neck flexion when compared to conventional desktop PCs and that putting the tablet higher on a desk and making use of a case to position the tablet at the ideal angle might alleviate problems with the neck and shoulders.

Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Microsoft Corporation investigated 15 volunteers who were frequent tablet users. The individuals carried out simulated routines on an Apple iPad2 as well as a Motorola Xoom, when the positioning of the head and neck, the individual’s position and gaze length were calculated by a 3D infrared motion evaluation procedure. They browsed the web, sent e-mails, viewed videos and played games.

Every tablet had a patented case that allowed subjects to place the tablet at various angles. The Apple case made it possible for 15° and 73° slant angles, whereas the Motorola case permitted angles of 45° and 63°. Increased flexion of the neck was discovered with the iPad2 once utilized in its own case. As expected, tablets placed at a minimum perpendicular position resulted in more neck and head flexion compared to when the individuals made use of a desktop or laptop. Head and neck positioning only started to move toward a neutral placement once the tablets were placed in their cases at the Table-Movie position in which they were nearest to being upright.

The scientists suggested that tablet users position the gadgets on a work table and at the highest watching angle practical to prevent neck and shoulder discomfort. But, they warned that this set up could cause issues for the hands and wrists, which in such a setting are not ideally positioned for input. This obviously might result in its own range of musculoskeletal ailments in the extremities. Therefore, the inescapable fact is that tablet ergonomics require a number of difficult compromises or trade-offs for end users. A posture that’s perfect for watching is problematic for inputting and expressions and vice-versa.

For many folks, tablet devices are actually a compulsory element of work and home way of living (for good or bad). If you happen to be one amongst these persons and can’t envision of possibly cutting off your iPad or minimizing the amount of time spent working with it, then it’s absolutely essential to create sound ergonomic routines that alleviate musculoskeletal tension and have the least effect on your posture. It’s also wise to think about visiting a chiropractic doctor fairly often. Chiropractic treatment has proven to be more powerful in the treatment of neck and shoulder pain compared to using pain pills. Chiropractic realignment will straighten out your neck bones and reduce the pressure off squeezed nerves, delivering pain reduction in a gradual, natural way so that you can work with your tablet in greater comfort. Together with dealing with the ailments you currently have, your chiropractor can certainly provide you with individual ergonomic suggestions to assist in preventing them from coming back or turning out to be chronic.

We want to help! If you have certain questions regarding a musculoskeletal complication or additional overall health and well-being concerns, we suggest that you speak to us or pay a visit to our office as soon as possible!