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Thursday, 26 January 2012 12:33

iPad is dangerous

Written by Nick Farrell



Harvard study says it is not ergonomic


Apple's iPad could cause all sorts of long term health issues because, despite what it looks like, it is not ergonomically designed.

Boffins at the Harvard School of Public Health have been studying the postures we adopt when using tablets and the effect they can have on our joints and muscles and they have come to the conclusion that while the beauty of tablets and other mobile devices is their flexibility, the postures people are in when using a tablet can be awkward and lead to discomfort with prolonged use.

The school’s Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Laboratory, Jack Dennerlein said that when using tablets, participants’ necks were bent more compared to when using a desktop or laptop computer, especially when the tablet was placed on the user’s lap. Understandably, such a position is going to cause extra strain on neck and shoulder muscles, which could cause short-term as well as long-term problems for the user. Dennerlein suggests a number of things to reduce neck and shoulder strain, including changing position every 15 minutes, or at least moving your neck around to give it a break from its previously fixed position.

Using a case can also help, as it enables the device to be propped up at what he describes as an ideal angle of 30 degrees. Of course it would be difficult to find anyone who could use a tablet for longer than five minutes before getting bored. To be fair to Apple [has someone stolen your ID and password again? Ed] they also tested the users with other tablets it is just that everyone reported it as if it was just the iPad which caused the problems.

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