A study released by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas reveals that 84.6% of tablet users suffer from stiffness, soreness and pain in their neck because of the way they look down at their screens. 65.4% of tablet users have shoulder and back pain. This malady now has a name. Some call it "Tablet neck," while others call it "iPad neck," and it is seen twice as much with women than with men. 412 university students, staff, faculty and alumni took part in the survey, and 70% with symptoms were female.
The discomfort and pain from "iPad neck" comes from posture, according to the survey. Using a tablet while slumping over the screen and flexing the neck tends to put pressure on the spine, causing the strain on the neck and back muscles. 55% of the people in the survey had moderate discomfort, 10% complained of severe symptoms, and 15% said that the condition prevented them from sleeping.
77% of the women in the study, and 23% of the men, use their tablet while sitting on the floor. That is not something that experts recommend. After all, the report notes that using a tablet without back support more than doubles the odds of getting afflicted with "iPad neck." Commuters putting their tablets on their laps while on a bus or train also are experiencing the stiffness, soreness and pain. Despite the pain and discomfort, only 46% of those surveyed said that they would stop using their tablet because of the symptoms.
Dr. John Abrahams of Brain & Spine Surgeons of New York says that the best way to use a tablet is while sitting in a chair with back support with the head and neck as "neutral" as possible. Also helpful is the Samsung Galaxy Tablet Stand ($70), which keeps the tablet screen right in front of the user. In addition, those using a tablet might want to consider taking a break every 15 minutes.
Who would have thought that mobile devices would be so detrimental to users' health. Because smartphone users check their phones 8 billion times a day, there have been complaints of "text neck," "text thumb," and "selfie elbow." The latter is caused by moving the elbow into the perfect position to take a selfie. A New York based spinal surgeon found that 60 pounds of pressure is applied to the neck every time a person looks down at his phone.