Tablet Use May Be Associated With Neck Pain

    January 25, 2012

Do you get neck and shoulder pain while using an iPad? A recent study from Harvard suggests that you might.

The latest in a long line of studies that seem to stem from the utter boredom of university researchers comes this study from the Harvard School of Public Health that says users may experience shoulder and neck pain from prolonged tablet use.

In the spirit of fairness, the study used both an iPad 2 and a Motorola Xoom. This made sure that fanboys from either camp couldn’t call out the other as being a leading cause of neck and shoulder discomfort.

The four user configurations used in the study were holding the tablet in one’s hand while on the lap, the tablet in a case on the lap, the tablet in a case on a table and the tablet held upright on a table for the purpose of watching a film. The tablets were outfitted with various cases and stands that users are generally seen using in everyday situations.

The study found that users of tablet computers in all four configurations run a higher risk of “neck and shoulder discomfort” compared to normal desktop or laptop users. This stems mostly from poor posture users exhibit when using tablet computers since their posture and head/neck angles are much more strained.

The study concludes that the use of tablet computers is associated with much higher head and neck postures compared to “desktop computing scenarios.” The postures are affected by the type of case as well as the location of the device.

They say that this data is valuable to tablet and accessory manufacturers to make their products more ergonomically designed to “promote neutral postures” and “increase the comfort of users.”

The entire study can be viewed here for your reading pleasure.