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ergonomics of using a tablet

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Tablets - do you always have yours with you? Have you ever considered the impact that tablet use could be having on your body? Tablets are convenient and easily portable pieces of equipment, this makes them popular for use at home, on the move, and in the office.

We need to consider the ergonomic implications of tablet use. It is very likely that if you are a frequent tablet user, the position in which you are using it is not ideal! The big ergonomic concern with tablets is that the keyboard/mouse and the screen are all on the same device. This will mean that both the neck and wrist will have to maintain an awkward posture. Frequent overuse of a tablet can, unfortunately, be responsible for a number of health issues.


A positive aspect of using tablets is that due to their portability, it is easy to change postures. For example, go from sitting to standing. However, the portable nature of tablets can also mean that we are using them for long periods while in an awkward posture. For example, sitting on a sofa, the kitchen table, on a train or plane. All of which are not ideal ergonomic settings.

Tips for Tablet Use


  • Hold or position the tablet at eye level. Try to ensure that you are using your eyes and not your neck to look down.
  • Use a tablet stand, this means that you will not have to hold the tablet. It will also reduce the amount of bending required at the neck. The screen should be placed arms distance from you. The tablet should be placed at a height where your eyes comfortable focus on the top third of the screen when looking straight ahead.
  • Use a separate keyboard and mouse.
  • Use voice recognition software. This will mean you can control your device without even having to touch it.
  • Frequent breaks - Ensure you are changing posture every 45 minutes to on hour.
  • Take it off your lap - this is a posture of extreme neck flexion. If you are in a situation where you have no choice, place your tablet on a cushion or pillow to increase its height. Take very frequent breaks.


To learn more about office setup and good ergonomics principles, you can reach out to Fit for Work to talk about how an ergonomic programme within your office can increase productivity, increase staff satisfaction, improve staff retention and reduce sick leave.