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Action Physiotherapy Weighs in on Study Linking Neck Damage to Tablet Computer Usage

Brampton, Canada, August 21, 2015 — Action  Physiotherapy (www.actionphysiotherapy.com),  a leading provider of effective physiotherapy in Brampton, is offering their  thoughts on a study from Washington State University that links neck damage to  tablet computer usage.

The use of tablet computers like iPads has  skyrocketed. In the last year, 42% of 18-year-olds owned a tablet, whereas 50%  of 35- to 49-year-olds used the devices regularly. Using a tablet requires  considerable head and neck flexing, which could potentially lead to injury.  (Source: Taylor & Francis, “Tablet  Use, significance of usage position, potential for neck damage,” Science Daily,  March 13, 2015, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150313083406.htm)

The authors from the study looked at 33 university  students. The students were tested while typing and reading on their tablets  for two to five minutes in different positions. The study determined that using  a tablet in a position that left it flat on a desk or a lap resulted in an  increase in strain on the user’s neck. The researchers also discovered that  reading and typing place different amounts of stress on the neck. The study further uncovered that users place  three to five times more demand on their neck if they do not use their device  in a neutral position

“Many  people are aware that sitting in front of a desktop computer for long periods  of time can lead to back, shoulder and neck pain, however, the health effects  of tablet use are just becoming known to the general public,” says Robert  Kappes, M.Sc (PT), Registered Physiotherapist at Action Physiotherapy. “There  is a link between prolonged neck flexion and pain. Due to the portability of  these devices, it's much harder to keep your spine (neck and back) in a neutral  position.”

To  limit the strain on one’s neck when using tablets, Kappes suggests that  patients avoid sitting or lying on a couch or bed, and instead sit tall with  their shoulders back and neck straight. He also recommends using a stand for  the tablet and using a portable keyboard if people do a lot of typing. Patients  should also get up every 20-30 minutes, even if it is only for 30 seconds, and  do a posture check to ensure they are not slouching.

“Technology  is always advancing and we teach our patients how to adapt their posture to use  new technology safely,” says Kappes. “It’s not the new technology that is the  problem, it is how we use it.”

As  a top provider of physiotherapy in Brampton, Action Physiotherapy offers a  number of treatment options for patients suffering from neck, back and shoulder  injuries due to strain. They are a leading provider of physiotherapy for  patients suffering from posture related issues.   Action Physiotherapy helps clients find their natural posture and  teaches them how to maintain it. For more information on Action Physiotherapy,  visit the clinic’s website at www.actionphysiotherapy.com.