Experts: iPads could encourage bad posture, introduce musculoskeletal issues

“Apple’s new iPad device is so sleek and seemingly simple to use that one could easily imagine using it for hours on end, but doing so might not be so great for your body, experts say,” Michelle Bryner reports for TechNewsDaily.

The problem is “the ‘co-location’ of the keyboard and monitor, said Anthony Andre, founder of Interface Analysis Associates (IAA) and a professor of Human Factors at San Jose State University,” Bryner reports. “‘You are taking two things that belong in different locations and merging them together,’ Andre said.”

“The iPad includes a bigger version of the virtual keyboard used in Apple’s iPhone, but typing on the iPad’s glass display might not prove as comfortable as on the iPhone,” Bryner reports. “‘With the phone, you can bring it up to your face, but [with the iPad] you have to put it on your lap if you’re going to do some serious two-handed typing,’ Andre said. ‘But once you do that, you have this little flat disk on your lap and you’re talking about the opposite of where computer work stations have come with their articulating keyboard trays that try to put you in a good posture,’ he said.”

Bryner reports, “David Rempel, a doctor at the University of California, San Francisco who sees plenty of laptop-related pain in his consulting work, also worries about the iPad’s ergonomics. While the iPad ‘creates a wonderful opportunity in terms of mobility and ease of interaction, … [it] poses a similar type of musculoskeletal problems as the laptop,’ Rempel said in a telephone interview.”

Full article, with some suggestions for minimizing the impact of mobile-device use on your body, here.

48 Comments

  1. doesn’t a piece of paper co-locate the monitor and the keypad too? what you are looking at is what you are drawing to or writing on.

    i would be more worried about the glass breaking in an earthquake.

  2. I would think a multi-touch interface would lessen incidents of carpel tunnel, etc., since you’re not having to press keys or hold your wrists at an awkward angle, plus you use many different kinds of gestures than just pressing down on a key or clicking a mouse.

    Much ado about nothing. Yet again, another article to bash the iPad before someone even has a chance to use it.

  3. This can NOT be happening! What kind of MORON could have written this piece of garbage? As “brandon” just opined, what is the difference between the iPad and a book? Must we be afraid of BOTH now?

    As Shakespeare penned in Henry VI, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” The second thing we do is shoot all the analysts and experts!

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