Phones iPads tablets may cause neck pain and early degeneration and our chiropractors in York can help!
Researchers have found that typing on a touch-screen for long periods of time may be more likely to cause muscle issues in the upper body than using a conventional keyboard, and the chiropractors at York’s Simply Chiropractic can help.
Unlike the traditional keys found on desktop and PCs, touch-screens (tablet virtual keyboards) and phones are activated by any physical contact with the skin.
Therefore, users are unable to rest their fingers on the keyboard and must keep their fingers and wrists hovering over the screen to avoid accidentally hitting the keys.
This can lead to ‘prolonged static muscle loading’ – when muscles are kept tense and motionless – in the shoulders, the researchers at Northern Illinois University said.
Lead author Jeong Ho Kim said: ‘The prolonged static muscle loading is a risk factor for musculoskeletal disorders, thus using a virtual keyboard for long periods of time may increase the risk for musculoskeletal discomfort and disorders in the neck and shoulder.’
It comes as researchers last week warned of a modern affliction known as ‘text neck’.
A study by surgeons found that holding the head at 60 degrees – typical of our posture when texting on a phone – exerts four stone (56lbs) of pressure on the top part of the spine.
Lead researcher Kenneth Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, said the extra stress may lead to ‘early wear, tear, degeneration and possibly surgeries’.
According to Ofcom, 44 per cent of UK households now have a tablet – up from less just 24 per cent a year ago.
The chiropractors at our York location can help no matter what your age.
More than a third of children (34 per cent) aged between five and 15 have their own tablet. Nearly three in 10 (28 per cent) of over-55s also own a tablet, with many using it as their main computing device. In contrast, desktop PC ownership has dropped, with just 35 per cent of households now having one, down from 44 per cent in 2012.
For the study, which was published in the scientific journal Applied Ergonomics, researchers studied a mixed-sex group of 19 experienced touch typists with no history of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper body.
Each was asked to type passages from Grimm’s Fairy Tales for five minutes on touch-screen, desktop and notebook keyboards, twice.
Electrodes recorded the muscle activity in the participants’ forearms and shoulders.
The researchers found that, although muscle activity in the forearms was lowest when the participants were typing on a virtual keyboard, it was higher in the trapezius muscles between the neck and shoulders. Prof Kim said: ‘Because a function of the trapezius muscle is to support the arms, floating the hands and forearms while typing on the virtual keyboard may have increased the static loading in the trapezius muscle and consequently resulted in higher muscle activity.
‘Although the differences were relatively small, these small exposure differences could be important when they accumulate over time.’
Additionally, self-reported discomfort was higher with the touch-screen keyboards, and typing speeds and accuracy were reduced by 60 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
Our York chiropractors will improve your posture so that you lead a healthy life even if your lifestyle has you using iPads, iPhones, or any other touch screen device.