Study reveals the hidden risks of touchscreen devices

Study reveals the hidden risks of touchscreen devices
After numerous studies in the past have shed light on the health issues surrounding the use of traditional personal computers, now more people are shifting their focus to mobile devices and the risks coming with them. As smartphones are in almost every pocket and the iPad is quickly becoming the replacement computer of choice, there’s a couple of problems that spring up with the use of those devices and touchscreens.

A study by InfoWorld reveals that not surprisingly ergonomics is one of the big problems. While you usually sit in front of a computer or a notebook, with mobile devices you often end up in unnatural poses and terrible posture for prolonged periods of time. People hunching over their smartphones are pretty common, and it might be a good idea to check your posture when using your mobile device.

But with touchscreens comes another problem - virtual keyboards with no feedback. The study concludes that this causes users to exert up to eight times more pressure than needed. This results in a tightening of the fingers, wrists and forearms, which in turn could result in Carpal tunnel syndrome affecting your nerves.

Typing is not the only problem - you often end up just hovering your fingers, waiting, and this causes isometric tension, the study found. This results in even more problems for your muscles and tendons.

Now, there’s plenty of benefits too - we needn’t focus on those as you know them, but in the study one thing that’s mentioned is the ability to rearrange buttons on touchscreens, so they’re more comfortable to reach. What do you think about touchscreen devices, have you seen or experienced those issues mentioned?

source: InfoWorld via PCMag

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32 Comments

1. baldilocks

Posts: 1506; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Who are these people? I barely use ANY pressure when typing on a touch screen device.

3. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

They might be doing it wrong I guess since I have non of those problems mentioned above.

14. baldilocks

Posts: 1506; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

I'm surprised you didn't get more thumbs down reviews. People here seem to reward the truth with negativity.

16. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

That surprised me also, makes me wonder are they having pleasure thumbing down peoples sensible comments? Maybe they thought mine was fallacy and insensible. . .

5. santaclaus

Posts: 52; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

people are experts from that field. although u think that u didn't exert any pressure on the screen, in fact u may lock/limit the flexibility of ur fingers to avoid pressing on the screen too hard. u may not know...

13. baldilocks

Posts: 1506; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

No. These are my fingers and I know how much pressure I exert.

20. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

Agreed.

25. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Just like this is your body and you don't need the doctors to tell you what's wrong with you, right? You may live with your body 24 hours a day, but somebody whose job it is to pay attention to the details of your actions may notice something a person wouldn't ordinarily pay attention to or realize while they are doing it.

19. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

agreed. I know for sure on the iPad its a delicate touch. Even on the S2 its extremely responsive with a touch. Posture part I agree with though.

2. Tatperson

Posts: 58; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Many phones with virtual keyboards have feedback through vibration.

4. TerryCrowley

Posts: 194; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

Except the iPhone.

7. baldilocks

Posts: 1506; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Which it really doesn't need. I never used keyboard vibration feedback on my iPhone, nor do I use it on my Galaxy S II.

28. TerryCrowley

Posts: 194; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

That's because you don't have it on your iPhone and you don't have a Galaxy S II XP. Btw it's called Haptic Feedback.

30. Baseballer

Posts: 132; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Actually iphone does.

18. Firedrops

Posts: 254; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

One of the first things I turn off whenever I get a new phone/flash a new ROM. I find vibrating "feedback" extremely annoying.

32. Tatperson

Posts: 58; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I guess it's all about personal preference.

6. Dark4o90

Posts: 205; Member since: Feb 20, 2011

bullsh*t

8. Cwebb

Posts: 501; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

*Reads with his finger hovering over the screen*

9. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Seeing as most android phones have haptic feedback in their screens are these expert studies trying to tell us that apple products give you carpel tunnel syndrome??!!!

10. flopjoke

Posts: 42; Member since: Jan 05, 2012

They did "a study". Nice.

11. iKingTrust

Posts: 716; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Great study. lmao

12. spiderpig2894

Posts: 597; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

Well, maybe they tried the RESISTIVE TOUCH SCREEN.

21. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

yeah I will agree wit that. Resistive touch screens used to make me want to poke a hole in my phone.

15. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

I thought they were going to say 'finger burn' could become a huge issue. Especially with damn games like Infinity Blade... ouch.

22. godsarmylds

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 05, 2010

That's why i love swype!!!!!!

23. atheisticemetic

Posts: 377; Member since: Dec 18, 2011

im going to assume 16 yr old texters may experience tightening of the hands ;)

24. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

If this is true then using a touch pad on a lap top would net you the same results then? Touch pads have no feedback and you have to hover just to use it which is essentially the same thing as a touchscreen phone is it not? How repetitive are the gestures you make on your smart phone are to cause carpal tunnel? I barely exert any kind of pressure while using my phone to type, since I swype everything in. I don't haunch over my phone to use it because it has a big screen so I am not trying to look into it as if it's some really small looking glass. I don't know about you but my body automatically adjusts to use the phone without using too much pressure, but like anything you do if you do it too often and continually it will affect you, but this is for people who sit there and play with their phones like 7 hours out of a 8 hour workday though.

26. Cyd07

Posts: 83; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

Hey, maybe here geeks have less problems than others. Many of you said "I don't put much pressure on the screen, I know it's sensitive". You're probably right, and I put as less pressure as possible on my screen too. But should you see my mother, she really press her touchscreen screen ! She does not integrate it's fast and sensitive... My point is : maybe much people are not really at ease with their screen (they don't "trust" it, don't trust it's fast and responsive), so maybe these people have real risks with their fingers...

27. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I just dont see this study having any validity, same with the one that said 7 inch touchscreen devices are too cramped. I have no problem typing on my Blackberry Playbook AT ALL. Not due to small screen size, not due to it being a touchscreen device. The size is fine and I can type on my lap or while holding the tablet, and being a touchscreen means very low resistance and impact, which means extended sessions with this is LESS of a wear on my wrists than using a computer keyboard for an extended amt of time.

29. m.garz

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 08, 2010

another article to feature the iphone.. :D

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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