Gender, Posture Crucial Factors in Electronics-Related Neck Issues

New study suggests some factors may be beyond our control

A study recently published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science suggests gender and posture are two of the biggest risk factors in development of neck and shoulder pain related to tablet use.

“iPad neck,” also known as “tablet neck,” is described as persistent pain in the neck and upper shoulders caused by slouching or bending into extreme positions while using tablet computers, such as on the beach or on the ground, slumping over the tablet while it rests in the user’s lap, or using the tablet while lying on the side or back.

The condition is more prevalent among young adults than older adults, but is worst among young women according to a media release from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), the institution that led the study.

“Such high prevalence of neck and shoulder symptoms, especially among the younger populations, presents a substantial burden to society,” said UNLV physical therapy professor Szu-Ping Lee, who led the study.

70 percent of female respondents reported experiencing such symptom, as opposed to under 30 percent of men.
Professor Lee offered the following tips to avoid development of symptoms:

  • Sit in a chair with back support
  • Use a posture reminder device
  • Place the iPad on a stand rather than on a flat surface and attach a keyboard in order to achieve a more upright posture while using the tablet
  • Exercise to strengthen one’s neck and shoulder muscles

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