Tablets are becoming a staple in our world of technology. After the Applied Ergonomics Conference at the beginning of this year, Humantech’s Blake McGowan, CPE shed light on the world of emerging strain in the office in his video from the 2017 AEC: Emerging Ergonomics Issues in the Office. We learned that prolonged use of emerging technological devices, including tablets, can result in pain to our neck, shoulders or thumbs. It is especially important to address the sustained neck flexion that occurs when using a tablet.
This may seem like bad news—even a little daunting, since most people use one or more of these devices on a daily basis. But here is the good news. There are a ton of different tablet accessories that exist to combat the awkward postures that users tend to get into when using a such a device.
Here are a couple of easy options for you to try out:
A mobile holding device – Products like the G-Hold that attach to the back of your tablet or reader allow for easy grip of your device and provide an entire new meaning to the term “mobile” device. These accessories stick to the back of any tablet or reader to allow the user to hold the device with one hand for support while the other hand navigates the screen. The hold provided by these mobile holding accessories keeps the wrist in a neutral posture while the user operates the device.
An adjustable tablet stand – Many people use tablets for daily computing tasks. I have a Microsoft Surface and love the dual tablet to laptop function. However, when using a tablet, users tend to maintain sustained awkward neck postures to get a good view of the work they’re doing. An adjustable tablet stand provides the user the opportunity to raise his tablet to eye level and minimize the need for awkward neck postures such as neck flexion.
A second monitor– Hook up your tablet to a second monitor to use as your main screen. Positioning the second monitor at or slightly below eye level will also work to bring the neck to a neutral posture when computing. Using the second monitor as the main screen can also give the added benefit of a larger view for your work.
In light of these great solutions to reduce strain when using tablets, it is important to remember that one of the best practices to reduce the susceptibility to sustained awkward postures is to limit the use of these devices in general.