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What's Up Magazine

Left to Our Own Devices

Mar 14, 2013 07:40PM ● By Anonymous

Excessive time spent on your tablet, they tell us, risks neck and shoulder pain. The further you bend your neck to see the screen, the more stress you are putting on your neck, a part of your body worth protecting—your neck is connected to your spine, which helps to control the basic body skills. By doing something as innocent as bending to see a screen you could potentially be straining the tendons, ligaments, and spinal discs in your neck, negatively affecting the rest of your body.

Health experts from Harvard Medical School’s Health Publications offer some tips that allow us to use our iPads without the nasty results that might otherwise occur.

  • Get a tablet case that props up your device so you have a comfortable viewing angle that doesn’t cause strain on your neck
  • Take a break every 15 minutes; this could be hard considering the hours we pass engrossed in our emails, games and videos of our frisky, feline friends.
  • Shift your hands and your weight, and switch between standing and sitting; it will keep your blood flow moving and you will avoid cramping.

There are similar tips (from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration) that will keep you comfortable and healthy while you’re at the office/home office as well— whether working on a tablet, laptop, or old-fashioned computer keyboard:Adjust the chair height and work surface to maintain a neutral body position: Elbows should be about the same height as the keyboard and hands comfortably to the side of the body. Shoulders should be relaxed, and wrists should not bend up or down or to either side during keyboard use.

  • Remove central pencil drawers from traditional desks if you can’t raise your chair high enough because of contact between the drawer and the top of the thighs.
  • A keyboard that is too close or too far away may cause you to assume awkward postures such as reaching with the arms, leaning forward with the torso, and extreme elbow angles.
  • These tips are not hard or inconvenient for us to apply, and by doing so we can have an enjoyable and healthy experience as we work or watch YouTube’s newest purr-fect video sensation.