According to an article by ItWeb, the market for tablets has grown to about 6.5 million units globally. But with the ever increasing use of tablets, we're also in danger of developing musculoskeletal symptoms because of our usage of them? Musculoskeletal refers to, "the musculature and skeleton together" or more specifically the neck and shoulders. 

This is according to a new study by researchers in the Daprtment of Physical Therapy at the University of Nevada, who found that using your tablet is a great contributor to the abovementioned symptoms. 

Dr. Szu-Ping Lee and her team recently published their findings on their study. They wanted to find out what the prevalence of neck and shoulder struggles were during the use of a tablet computer. They also wanted to identify the risk factors associated with these signs. 

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They surveyed a total of 412 people, 275 women and 175 men. Most people reported to have experienced musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck region while using their tablets. The most common types of symptoms found were stiffness, soreness, and aching or pain in the neck and upper back/shoulder.

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The study also revealed that women were affected by musculoskeletal symptoms far more than men. One of the reasons they identified for this, is that women generally have lower muscle strength and smaller physique predispose women to neck and shoulder symptoms.

They further identified the other risk factors which include the following: 

  • Sitting without back support
  • Using your tablet on your lap
  • Lying on your side while using your tablet 

Here's more information on the risk factors they identified:

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While the statistics are quite alarming, here's how you can protect your neck and shoulders:

  • Always have right posture when working on your tablet on your desk
  • Restrict usage of your tablet while lying on your side, on your back and stomach.
  • Do not use your tablet when you do not have any back support
  • Try to get your tablet to be at an appropriate eye level when using your tablet on your desk
  • Limit the number of hours you use your tablet. The study found that people who used their tablets for less than three hours experienced less symptoms.  

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