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Ouch! Women are More Likely to Suffer from Tech Neck

posted: 06/26/18
by: Amanda Mushro
Woman Sitting On Sofa At Home Looking At Digital Tablet
iStock

That sore neck you feel after spending a little too much time staring at your iPad actually has a name--iPad neck. While anyone with a tablet or device can feel the aches and pains of this modern technology induced ailment, if you are a woman you need to listen up and sit up.

According to a new study published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science, "iPad neck" is described as frequent neck and shoulder pain resulting from slouching over a tablet or digital device. While everyone can feel the pain and soreness after some serious screen time, women are twice as likely as men to feel the effects of iPad neck.

For the study, researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas worked with hospitals and physical therapy centers to survey 412 university students, staff, faculty, and alumni that were tablet users. What they found was 70 perfect of women were likely to experience the musculoskeletal symptoms associated with iPad neck as opposed to 30 perfect of men.

From neck and shoulder pain, to numbness in their arms and hands, the symptoms were varied but the results based on gender were the same. When asked how they were feeling, seven in ten women admitted to suffering from iPad neck, compared to about three in ten men. Researchers noted that younger participants were more likely to suffer from aches and pain as opposed to older participants.

"Such high prevalence of neck and shoulder symptoms, especially among the younger populations, presents a substantial burden to society," says lead author Szu-Ping Lee. "Theoretically, the more hours you spend bent over an iPad, the more neck and shoulder pain you experience -- but what we found is that time is not the most important risk factor. Rather, it's gender and specific postures."

So what are these "specific postures"? According to Lee, we need to stop sitting with little to no back support, leaning over the tablet while it's on our lap, and sitting in a chair with the tablet placed flat on a table.

Lee theorized that women feel the pain of iPad neck more because they often have lower muscle strength and a smaller body size than men. He also added women may also be more attuned or sensitive to pain and were more likely to report their feelings.

Since minor neck and shoulder pain can lead to chronic pain down the road, researchers hope this study will shed some light on how we can take better care of our bodies and posture while we use our devices.