Users of iPads and other tablets may be under a “serious risk” of developing neck and shoulder discomfort, a new study suggests. According to the U.S. Department of Environmental Health, using tablets can be considerably more dangerous than laptops or desktops because of how the body natrually positions its back and neck.
The study, titled “Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation,” had tablet users conduct various tasks on their tablets under varying conditions, such as with cases propping the devices up at certain angles, or having the devices sit on the user’s lap. Consistently, having a tablet placed at a high angle on a tablet—much like a laptop or desktop—resulted in the fewest postural issues. Other methods of engaging on tablets showed postural issues that could result in neck and shoulder pains.
“Compared to typical desktop computing scenarios, the use of media tablet computers is associated with high head and neck flexion postures, and there may be more of a concern for the development of neck and shoulder discomfort,” said lead investigator Jack T Dennerlein.