Are touchscreens bad for your health?

Written by: RWFM

Last updated on: 7 Nov 2019

Touchscreen devices are everywhere. From your laptop to your car, these tactile displays are quickly replacing buttons and keyboards in all aspects of our lives. While this technology is advancing, are the risks to our health increasing too?

Do touchscreens affect our posture?

Touchscreen laptops are hot commodities, with almost every tech brand releasing their version on the market. As technology companies draw you in with brand new products, try to resist them for the sake of your body.

If you work in an office, it’s likely you spend over eight hours a day using a laptop or desktop computer. During this time, our bodies contort into unnatural positions that cause physical stress. To view a screen clearly, we must lower our head, forcing our neck to strain and our back to hunch.

This stress increases with touchscreen laptops as our visual and reach height are different. Being in an uncomfortable position throughout the day negatively affects your posture over time.

touchscreens bad for your health

Do touchscreens cause health risks?

When using touchscreen laptops, we remove the need for a mouse, trackpad and keyboard. This means we lose the support of a desk that our arms can rest on while typing or navigating a screen. Using touchscreens for a long period of time places pressure on the wrist and upper arm. Increasing the risk of related diseases such as Carpal tunnel.

As well as wrist strain from elevated arms, we also strike touchscreens with more force than necessary. As feedback times are slower, we apply extra pressure to ensure the screen detects our targets. This means we’re placing even more stress on our wrists and hands to accommodate the tension in the fingers.

Unlike desktop monitors, touchscreen devices have significantly smaller screen sizes for portability purposes. While this is great if you travel, small screens make fonts, characters and images difficult to see. Our eyes must work harder to view the screen clearly; causing our eyes to strain.

If you stare down at a small screen you might begin to feel nauseous, fatigued, dizzy or headaches. If you use these devices all day, make sure you connect to a monitor to display your screen in a larger format. This will take the strain off your eyes and reduce the pressure you feel in your head.

What is the solution?

We recommend that you design your desk space ergonomically. Adjust your screen to elevate it off the desk and make your reach height at least one arm’s length. This ensures your neck is straight and eyes look forward. Your back will also remain upright to avoid rounding or hunching over.

To reduce the pressure on your wrists and arms, you should connect to a mouse and physical keyboard even when using a touchscreen laptop or tablet. This provides support for the upper body when using the device for a long period of your day. You can then maintain a comfortable working position with less risk of pain or physical stress.

To find a solution that works for your needs, contact us for a free consultation.

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