Does Your iPad Cause “Tablet-Neck”?

Portable technologies such as ipads/tablets have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Recent ergonomic research highlights a link between increased head and neck flexion (looking down!) and neck pain.

Studies have shown that frequent tablet users tend to hold their head and neck in a flexed position (much more than that of desktop computer users) which puts undue strain on the neck joints and muscles which in turn can cause pain.

How do we stop this from happening? Well, here are 5 tips to help combat ‘Tablet-Neck”:

  1. Try to vary your posture/position at least every 15 minutes. Setting a timer on your tablet or smart phone is a good way to accomplish this. Or set up a pop up reminder in your diary.
  2. ‘Tablet Hunch’ comes from placing the tablet well below your field of vision when you are sitting. If you plan on using your tablet for a prolonged period, reconsider your seat or the position of the tablet, so that it sits at or just below your field of vision.
  3. If possible use a case that doubles as a tablet stand, which will reduced the need to grip the tablet.  By having your ipad propped up at an angle that keeps your head in a more neutral position neck strain with be minimised.
  4. If you are using the tablet for longer than 15 minutes, consider using a separate keyboard to help improve your position.
  5. Try to keep your upper body posture upright and well supported. Keep your neck straight, your shoulders relaxed, and your arms positioned near your sides.

While it is nearly impossible to avoid the tablet technology, we should make an effort to look at our devices with good posture and also avoid spending hours each day hunched over them. If you experience neck pain with tablet use, consult your Physiotherapist at Bend + Mend in Sydney’s CBD for treatment and ongoing management to stop this type of pain long-term.

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