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Tablet users better be contortionists to keep healthy posture, says a joint Harvard and Microsoft study

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Tablet users better be contortionists to keep healthy posture, says a joint Harvard and Microsoft study
A study for the National Institute of Health was done by Harvard's medical and public health schools, with input from a Microsoft researcher, that examines how healthy is our posture when we use a tablet, compared to the more traditional desktop or laptop computers.

Tablet users better be contortionists to keep healthy posture, says a joint Harvard and Microsoft study
Needless to say, after examining the stooped, wrinkled posture of 15 tablet users in four different usage scenarios, the researchers concluded that slates are the worst for your back, neck, and so on, compared to a desktop kit, and even to a laptop computer. The four usage scenarios were: a tablet in the users' hands, on the lap in a case, on a table in a case, and on a table in a case, but at a higher angle, suitable for watching movies. The researchers used LED motion sensors to detect the changes in posture. The results:

Head and neck flexion significantly varied across the four configurations and across the two tablets tested. Head and neck flexion angles during tablet use were greater, in general, than angles previously reported for desktop and notebook computing. Postural differences between tablets were driven by case designs, which provided significantly different tilt angles, while postural differences between configurations were driven by gaze and viewing angles. Conclusion: Head and neck posture during tablet computing can be improved by placing the tablet higher to avoid low gaze angles (i.e. on a table rather than on the lap) and through the use of a case that provides optimal viewing angles.

Tablet users better be contortionists to keep healthy posture, says a joint Harvard and Microsoft study
The final recommendation is actually not a very typical way of utilizing your slate - at eye level and in a case that will keep it propped up to avoid unusual neck position, so we'll see what diseases will emerge in the future that orthopedists are already planning to name after tablets.

We had a similar study done recently as well, but there you have it from another source. Not that we needed further proof how stooping over a 7- or 10-incher for hours at a time is detrimental to the well-being of your vertebrae, but it's nice to have it studied scientifically.

source: NIH via TheRegister

10 Comments
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posted on 25 Jan 2012, 10:20 5

1. PimpStrong (Posts: 310; Member since: 25 Jul 2011)


"iPads Disease" I would say "Tablets Disease" but the iPad is leading the way.

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 17:17 3

7. andro. (Posts: 1962; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


ipad disease has been documented as "The ailment where a bodys mental reasoning and free will thinking ceases to exist and the human victim is reduced to buying apple products over and over again until death insues"

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 10:50 1

2. downphoenix (Posts: 2359; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Now this research holds some weight. That report that Phone Arena posted a week or so ago about how typing on a tablet is worse than a keyboard, this on the other hand is logical, its not good to bend your neck or back for an extended period of time at all.

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 10:59

3. JonGarrett (Posts: 29; Member since: 06 Aug 2011)


Ive never used my tablet for more than an hour at a time. on average, I use it for maybe 20-30 minutes and about 2-3 times a week.

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 11:27

4. c.hack (Posts: 514; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


What's the difference between slouching while tableting vs reading a book/Kindle vs staring at a TV?

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 11:50

5. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 642; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


Good question!

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 18:01 1

8. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1619; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


i understand your book argument but tvs are usually placed directly in front of us or up high even like at sports bars and such. Tablets and books are used looking down.

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 12:19

6. theoak (Posts: 320; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


I wonder if my medical insurance will cover treatment??? ;)

posted on 25 Jan 2012, 19:13

9. pongkie (Posts: 503; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


Or to summarize the article the apple sales is giving Microsoft people neck problems by stooping their heads down in shame and agony

posted on 24 Apr 2012, 01:56

10. mf2hd (Posts: 58; Member since: 25 Mar 2008)


interesting

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