The top health hazards of using a tablet device

October 15, 2012


Like any electronics, there are best practices for use

With the increasing popularity of tablet devices, many are looking beyond the novelty of apps and the usefulness of the devices, and digging deeper into how people’s good and bad habits are forming around the use of the devices. Much like desktops pose a risk to your eyesight with long term use, tablets possess their own risks when used improperly.

Tablets are no longer an item purchased by the most tech savvy people, they have become a mainstream device, with one in five Americans now owning one of a variety of models. Recently, a Harvard study put an iPad 2 up against a Motorola Xoom to analyze the different risks, even with two devices that are not dramatically different in size.

The most common problem

The most common problem is the most common use of tablets – lap use. Holding a tablet with or without a case on your lap can cause strain on a variety of your muscle groups and can cause eye strain. The study also notes that posture varies depending on where a user places their device, which in and of itself is a health risk – slumping over for hours on end is not good for anybody.

The study took particular issue with the iPad 2 smart cover, noting that because of its angle, whether on a desk or not, users are forced to bend their necks, and users are prone to hunching, while desk use may hurt wrists over the long run.

Many of these issues can cause pain, discomfort, and over the long term can cause damage, but is this a unique problem? If you watch movies on your smartphone or are constantly looking down at the device, you are equally prone to health hazards, and if you spend 14 hours each day in front of a desktop computer, even improper lighting can cause problems. So no, this problem is not unique, but like all working conditions, there are ideal positions for devices that can curb any body pains or damage.

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Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.


  1. This is spot on – I now have tennis elbow and don’t play tennis. :-)  The scarier numbers are the ones associated with DWT and WWT – driving and walking while texting.

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