Ergonomics Research/studies Office safety Worker health and wellness

Tablet use puts strain on neck: study

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Photo: Zhenikeyev/iStockphoto

Pullman, WA – Looking at a tablet computer puts 3 to 5 times more strain on users’ neck muscles than when the neck is not bent, recent research from Washington State University indicates. The extra strain on the neck can result in pain and fatigue, according to results of the study.

Researchers studied approximately 30 college students and teachers who typed and read on tablets for several minutes. “Gravitational demand” on the neck was lowest when the tablet computer was held up high compared to laying it flat on a surface. The “most flexed” position involved holding the tablet low in the lap, while the “least flexed” position occurred when users put the tablet high on a desk, researchers found.

Amount of neck strain was similar whether the participant was typing or reading, according to a press release.

The study was published online Feb. 2 in the journal Ergonomics.