How to Use Your iPad Without Neck Pain

Do you have neck pain from using your iPad? A new study at Harvard School of Public Health found it’s best to use your tablet at a high viewing angle on a table because that keeps your neck and head in the most neutral position.

In the study lab, tablet users checked emails, surfed the Internet, played a game or watched a movie while researchers measured their head and neck postures with an infrared three-dimensional motion analysis system. The study was conducted by the Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Laboratory at HSPH and the results were recently published in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation. 

Four postures were tested:

  • Lap-Hand: sitting on a chair with feet on a stool, device in lap
  • Lap-Case: sitting on a chair with feet on the floor, device in lap
  • Table-Case: sitting in a chair with device on a table at a low viewing angle
  • Table-Movie: sitting in a chair with device on a table at a high viewing angle

You can see photos of the four postures here. But notice how in the Table-Movie position the person is not doing any typing? That’s great if you’re watching a movie, but how about if you need to type?

Here’s a solution I recently found at the Apple store: the Incase Origami Workstation. It’s a handy travel case for my wireless keyboard that flips into a workstation stand with a quick fold. It lets me take notes in client meetings or send out a live tweet stream during professional development seminars for PWAC Toronto Chapter without getting a stiff neck. Besides, I type faster on my usual keyboard rather than the iPad screen.

What works for you when you’re on the go with your mobile device and need to type?

Now, if I could only find too much sitting putting your health at risk when I’m not working from home.

incase origami keyboard case









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