Tablet computers, such as the iPad and Galaxy Tab, are slowly becoming ubiquitous. Unfortunately, so are many of the physical pains that can accompany the use of these devices. According to a study published in a 2012 issue of the journal Work the way in which many of us hold tablets and e-readers is causing harm to the neck, shoulders and hands.
Holding the device at a low angle, so that you have to hunch over it, puts pressure on the muscles, says lead researcher Jack Dennerlein, PhD, a professor physical therapy at Bouvè College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston. The researchers found that using certain accessories, such as cases and stands, to prop up the device at a minimum 45-degree angle – helped users keep proper spine alignment and reduced strain on joints. To fend off pain, try these handy tools.
Cosmos Black Aluminum Lightweight Tripod Stand ($36.99; amazon.com) The height of this stand is adjustable from 18 to 51 inches, which allows you to place your seven- to 10-inch tablet at eye-level whether your at a desk or not.
Griffin CinemaSeat 2 ($18.99; store.griffintechnology.com) Headed on a road trip? Turn your iPad into a mini entertainment center with this case, which wraps around the headset. That way, backseat passengers can watch videos or read without craning over a screen.
Acme Infinite Angle ($19.99; acmemade.com) With its thin cover, this case looks like a simple protective sheath. But its top cover flips back to serve a stand, allowing you to find the ideal viewing position.
ClamCase Pro ($169; clamcase.com) Tapping on a tablet puts more strain on your hands and forearms than typing on a computer, according to Dennerlein. This hard-covered case turns an iPad into a laptop. Snap the device into place, and then use the Bluetooth-connected keyboard to compose messages. Have an Android device? Look for a similar case made for Xoom and Galaxy tablets, such as the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Universal Keyboard Case for 10” Tablets ($99.99; kensington.com).
Bluetooth Silicone Keyboard for iPad Tablet ($49.99; brookstone.com) If you already own a stand, consider a separate keyboard. This silicone version rolls up so you can stash it in your bag. It’s also waterproof and compatible with Android tablets.