What is iPad shoulder?
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 | Admin
If you’re an avid tablet user then you might have heard of (or felt) the dreaded iPad shoulder. But what exactly is iPad shoulder and why should you be worried about it? Although it’s not very well known iPad shoulder is a great risk to every tablet user and can have painful consequences if not dealt with immediately. So what exactly is iPad Shoulder?
Tablet Related Injuries
Tablets might be portable and flexible compared to desktop and laptop computers but using them regularly for long periods can actually cause injury. If not used correctly with the right posture mobile tablets can cause injuries such as iPad shoulder or iPad neck.
Similar to Blackberry Thumb, iPad shoulder is a form of repetitive strain injury caused by overusing tablets. Holding a tablet low down means the user has to look down more sharply tilting their head and increasing the pressure on their joints, especially on the neck and shoulders. Hence the name iPad shoulder / iPad neck.
Researchers say that iPads and other tablet devices should be held closer to eye level to stop this from happening. Another way to use a tablet is to place it on a special tablet stand that allows them to sit upright on a surface. This stops the user having to tilt their head in order to view it, thus helping to eliminate iPad shoulder.
Even Researchers Are Worried
According to a study from Harvard School of Public Health researchers asked 15 people to use an iPad in a range of different ways including with a separate tablet stand. Participants held the tablet in a number of ways such as on their laps with no stand, on their laps with a stand and holding the tablet up and propping it up on a table with a tablet stand.
While the participants did this researchers measured the range of head and neck movements to see which positions put more strain on the individual's neck and shoulders. The results concluded that tablets held on the lap or slightly propped up caused greater head and neck pains.
Research showed that bending the head at a 60 degree angle to look at the tablet put 27KG worth of pressure on the cervical spine. That’s more weight than an average 7 year old! All this weight causes unnecessary strain to your neck which can cause problems later on in life if not fixed.
Researchers also warned that holding a tablet for an extended amount of time can also put strain on a user's wrists and hands. Researcher Dr Jack Dennerlein comment on the results saying “Only when tablets are used with tablet stands on flat surfaces did posture approach neutral”. This means that if you want to avoid the dreaded iPad shoulder and iPad neck you should place the tablet at a higher viewing angle such as on a desk instead of your lap. By doing this it stops you having to look down at the tablet to get a good viewing angle.
Watch Your Wrists Too!
iPad neck and shoulder isn’t the only tablet related injury nowadays. Due to the sheer weight of mobile tablets they can leave your hands and wrists feeling numb and aching after long periods of use. Mobile tablets are fairly heavy and when you include any tablet cases on top it only increases the weight.
Holding a tablet at arm's length might be fine for 30 minutes or less but the longer you hold it the more strain it starts to put on your wrists. So how can you stop it?
One way to stop it is to take regular breaks and put your tablet down while you let your hands and wrists relax. If you don’t fancy putting your tablet down every 30 minutes then don't worry, there is another way!
How to Avoid Tablet Related Injuries
Now you know what causes iPad shoulder and wrist injuries, how can you avoid them? Well the way to avoid them is fairly simple. As mentioned earlier iPad shoulder occurs when you use a tablet for a long period of time with a bad viewing angle. This bad viewing angle forces you to gaze down on to your tablet and thus puts pressure and strain on your neck. Wrist related injuries also come from holding your tablet for too long, even if it's just resting it on your lap. If there’s anything you can take away from this it’s don’t use your tablet on your lap!
To avoid iPad shoulder and wrist related injuries you need to use your tablet in an upright position like you are using a desktop computer or watching TV. The easiest way to do this is to use a tablet stand such as the iBeani. Not only does the tablet stand hold the tablet for you, leaving you with both hands free but it also holds the tablet at a great viewing angle just like watching a TV.
The iBeani is a multi-functional beanbag tablet stand that can be used on any surface! No matter if you’re travelling around or staying indoors the iBeani tablet stand can be used anywhere to safely and securely hold your tablet. To check out our range of colourful iBeani stands be sure to visit our store below.