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HeldTite Guide to iPad and Tablet Ergonomics

tablet on lap causes neck, back, wrist strain

Unfortunately not enough people take the time to read this section. It really does matter and it really is important (kind of like knowing CPR). A little knowledge about Ergonomics for iPads and tablets can prevent a lifetime of pain and suffering . . . . and that's not just sales hype.

Practicing good ergonomics means being aware of your body posture and listening to it when it (your body) sends you pain signals. People who use an iPad or tablet regularly and aren't concerned with the ergonomics will almost certainly develop serious injuries that could require surgery to correct the damage.

This section is designed to teach you how to enjoy your iPad or tablet safely and comfortably and prevent long term injury. Here are some simple facts people need to know about . . . .

  • FACT: Improper use of an iPad or other tablet devices can lead to neck, back and wrist strain from just gripping your iPad/tablet for too long.
  • FACT: Supporting the device in mid air during long term use can cause shoulder & neck strain.
  • FACT: Laying your device flat on your lap or a table top is also not recommended because it causes you to crane your neck downward eventually causing neck strain.
  • FACT: A versatile hand holder or desktop stand for your iPad or tablet is strongly recommended by most of the resource articles listed below.

Below you'll find a collection of expert opinions about the ergonomic challenges of using an iPad or tablet. Select the topic heading you like and read on - they're short and sweet but to the point.

Thanks again for coming to this page and being open to learning how to prevent the potential for long term pain, injury and suffering. Live long and and in good health with our iPad or tablet stands, hand straps & grips and accessories.


  • The Washington Post:

    “The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.”

    “Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said.” read more...

  • Harvard School of Public Health:

    “People worldwide have been buying up tablet computers—small, thin devices such as Apple’s iPad–in droves, partly because of their ease of use and portability. However, little is known about the potential for tablet users to experience the same kinds of ergonomic issues that have afflicted desktop computer users for decades, such as head, neck, and wrist pain.”

    “Now, in an article published in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, on January 15, 2012, Harvard School of Public Health researchers have begun quantifying the ways in which a person’s posture, and also the design of the tablet and its case, affect comfort—evidence that will help companies develop new ergonomic guidelines as tablets become more common in the workplace.” read more...

  • Gotta Be Mobile:

    “The iPad is an incredibly popular gadget, selling more than 15 million last quarter. It turns out that the millions of iPads in our hands can put a strain on our shoulders, necks and backs — in addition to your wallet.”

    “In a recent study by Microsoft and the US Department of Environmental Health, researchers found that tablet users have a higher potential for ”neck and shoulder discomfort” versus using a notebook or a desktop computer.” read more...

  • Digital Trends:

    “Now that tablet devices like the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Amazon Kindle Fire are becoming commonplace in everyday society, researchers have started examining some of the possible ergonomic impacts of these devices. After all, almost every other technological gizmo and device that has become ubiquitous in society seems to have an impact on our bodies, from desktop computer users suffering carpal tunnel syndrome and circulation problems to gamers and ”Generation Text” experiencing thumb and wrist injuries.”

    “Before then, centuries of people wore down their bodies on telephone and telegraph gear, industrial machinery, looms, and countless other devices. Why should tablets be any different?” read more...

  • Working Well Resources:

    “I’ve been noticing iPad advertisements all over town. I see iPads on billboards, ads on my computer and on television. Notice how the ads don’t show people sitting and using the iPad.”

    “They show people’s laps and legs and then a close up the iPad. Hmm, why hide the necks and shoulders of iPad users? My guess, because sitting hunched over a small but relatively heavy iPad makes people look pretty uncomfortable.” read more...

  • The ErgoLab:

    ”I can remember when I started out in the professional world, my father gave me some advice, in his words, ”In business there are 3 things you NEVER discuss” (for fear of offending or alienating with anyone with a differing point-of-view); 1. Religion, 2. Sex, 3. Politics”

    ”Well….after our blog post 2 days ago on ERGOLAB’s concerns with the ergonomic issues of the Apple iPad, I am nominating another topic that is not open to discussion or questioning. 4. Apple (and anything having to do Apple, it’s products, leadership etc)” read more...

  • Ergonomics Made Easy:

    “Do you love your iPad? This new technology seems to stir a wide variety of emotion, both positive and negative. There are tremendous advantages to the bigger size of the iPad for watching movies, or reading an e-Book. But it also has some challenges for comfortable, ergonomic use, if you are not careful. Here are a few tips for using your iPad without muscle strain and/or discomfort.”

    “Don’t let this little device replace your main computer. It was designed to be flexible for short periods of time, but was never intended to be used for eight hours a day, editing spreadsheets or writing documentation.” read more...

  • Apple Ergonomics:

    “Today, changes in technology, changes in the way we perform work, and where and how we work are occurring at a rapid pace. Nowhere is the change more evident than in the use of computers.”

    “Today, changes in technology, changes in the way we perform work, and where and how we work are occurring at a rapid pace. Nowhere is the change more evident than in the use of computers.” read more...

  • Suite 101:

    “Ergonomics is the science of aligning workplace products with the human body's natural curves and rhythms. Bad ergonomics happens when a product, such as a chair or computer equipment causes strain in the body due to poor alignment – it could cause back pain, neck strain, eye strain, carpal tunnel, and other kinds of repetitive stress injuries (RSI). An RSI injury develops over time and is caused by the repetitive use of a product that is not aligned with the body's natural posture.”

    “Computer products and peripherals are typically targeted as causing RSI due to the fact that their repetitive use at an unnatural posture causes the human body's muscles to strain and stress. With each new advance in technology, people are left wondering if newer products will be healthy for them to use or cause aches and pains.” read more...

  • The Ergo Lab:

    “Beyond my personal realization that the Apple iPad doesn’t seem to have a place and purpose in my own life, our ERGOLAB team has some deeper concerns with the ERGONOMIC implications of the product. We already know that laptops can create significant Ergonomic challenges without tricking the tool out with accessories; docking station, keyboard, keyboard tray, monitor, monitor arm and wireless mouse.”

    “Once we have pimped out our laptop with Ergonomic accessories, the configuration must be adjusted (ideally by a trained Ergonomist) to ensure neutral body postures and avoid injury. WHEW…exhausting.” read more...

  • Teach Thought:

    “We’ve been hearing for years how smartphone technology causes (insert scary sounding ailment here). The same with living under power lines, standing too close to the microwave, and eating lead paint.”

    “The long-term impact of such phenomena are unclear, but what is absolutely certain is that ergonomics matter. Neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, cysts, and other trouble aren’t just bothersome, but can be entirely debilitating. For students growing up with iPads in their laps and smartphones glued to the palms of their hands, this is worth understanding.” read more...

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