NIU Researcher: Tablet Typing May Lead to Shoulder Discomfort

NIU Researcher: Tablet Typing May Lead to Shoulder Discomfort


As much as you love using your tablet computer
it could become a pain in the neck. That’s according to a team of researchers led by
Northern Illinois University Associate Professor Jay Kim, who say that prolonged use of a tablet’s
touch screen keyboard can cause chronic pain in the shoulder region. To reach that conclusion,
they enlisted 19 people in their mid 20’s to type various passages from Grims Fairy
tales for 5 minute periods on touch screen, desktop, and notebook keyboards as muscle
activity in the forearms and shoulders was recorded. By far the participates typed more
words and with greater accuracy on the conventional keyboards. “If we type we need to place our
hands to align with all the keys and when we place our fingers it align with the keys
it causes this owner deviation which is known to increase inter carpal tunnel syndrome pressure
and this is a know to be a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome.” More importantly,
the researchers noted that fingers hoovering over touch screens were found to put more
muscle exertion on the shoulders, which can then lead to persistent problems. “Research
showed that so when the long period of typing is required and the performance is premium,
maybe the conventional keyboard is more appropriate, however, typing a bunch of keyboards for short
period of time for snacking or to be appropriate interfaces after all.” Dr. Kim’s tips for
reducing the risk of musculaskeletal problems caused by interaction with computers and tablets
included finding an an input device that fits your body by choosing the right sized keyboard
and mouse making frequent stops and taking breaks when working on a project that involves
extensive input, and using different interfaces so posture can change often. ” Our aim as
a biochemist or agronomist, we are trained to reduce more ace-posture so that we can
promote more neutral posture rather than ex-tern postures. Who knows maybe in the next 10 years
or 20 years, maybe we not see the keyboards and mouse anymore, we just speak to type or
we just move our fingers or hands to type without touching anything.”

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One thought on “NIU Researcher: Tablet Typing May Lead to Shoulder Discomfort

  1. I totally agree with this (especially since I've been doing my Graduate homework for 4 hours now!) Ugh! My right shoulder is killing me!

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