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Shoulder pain from using your ipad? Don't use it on your lap
Date:1/24/2012

Amsterdam, NL -- The sudden popularity of tablet computers such as the Apple iPad has not allowed for the development of guidelines to optimize users' comfort and well-being. In a new study published in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Microsoft Corporation, and Brigham and Women's Hospital report that head and neck posture during tablet computer use can be improved by placing the tablet higher to avoid low gaze angles, and through the use of a case that provides optimal viewing angles.

"Compared to typical desktop computing scenarios, the use of media tablet computers is associated with high head and neck flexion postures, and there may be more of a concern for the development of neck and shoulder discomfort," said lead investigator Jack T. Dennerlein, PhD, of the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Fifteen experienced tablet users completed a set of simulated tasks with two media tablets, an Apple iPad2 and a Motorola Xoom. Each tablet had a proprietary case that could be adjusted to prop up or tilt the tablet computer. The Apple Smart Cover allows for tilt angles of 15 and 73, and the Motorola Portfolio Case allows for tilt angles of 45 and 63. Four user configurations were tested: Lap-Hand, where the tablet was placed on the lap; Lap-Case, with the tablet placed on the lap in its case set at the lower angle setting; Table-Case, with the tablet placed on a table with its case at the lower angle; and Table-Movie, with the tablet placed on a table with its case at the higher angle.

During the experiment, users completed simple computer tasks such as Internet browsing and reading, game playing, email reading and responding, and movie watching. Head and neck postures and gaze angle and distance were measured using an infrared three-dimensional motion analysis system.

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Contact: Esther Mateike
e.mateike@iospress.nl
31-206-883-355
IOS Press
Source:Eurekalert

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