I confess, I'm a bit of a workstation zealot: the screen on my desk in my office sits on a pile of university Theology tomes so that I am forced to sit up, and I have an ergonomic keyboard and mouse - my antidote to neck and wrist strain. These measures stem from a misspent youth of rugby and high jumping which has left me with a weak back that needs a lot of care. Working at my desk is under control, but my working habits are changing . . . . .
I am writing this sitting on a train to London stooped over my iPad which is resting on my lap. I can already feel the tension building at the base of my neck. I love the portability and versatility of my iPad, but there are times when my back begs to differ. I am concerned that little discussion seems to have been given to the range of potential health issues surrounding the introduction of mobile technologies into the classroom. We have both a duty of care and a duty to educate young people in their safe and healthy use.
Schools would be well advised to incorporate training into their ICT and/or PSHE curriculums on the health risks surrounding poor posture when using mobile devices. So what form would this take, given that it is almost impossible to maintain good posture when using them? (I am not occupational therapist but) I suspect the best advice is not to spend prolonged periods focused on our iPads, to take regular breaks, and to carry out exercises akin to those recommended on long-haul flights.
- Norwegian experts warn against iPad The Foreigner 26/02/2012
- How the iPad is changing the way we work: The nine new ways we sit (and slouch) in the office thanks to mobile technology Daily Mail 26/02/2013