Your opinion on health impact from portable devices

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bruinsrme, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #1
    Recently I have been hearing family members, frieds and co-workers grumbles about portable phones adn tablet type things causing health issues from an ergonomic standpoint; wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck issues.
    Along with that eye strain and possibly affecting the eyes such as straining and causing the need for glasses or bifocals.

    I would like to avoid this discussion from being a source checking (provide a link or it's untrue) I would like to see it real life user experience.

    My experieince has been rather interesting.
    Relatives where both parents do not need glasses, 2 kids that didn't wear glasses. Then 18 to 24 months after using hand help devices the kids started to complain the board at school was blurry. Both started wearing glasses. Parents only allow tablets or full size computers and limit the usage of both.

    Me, I have noticed wirst fatigue and neck strain while using a tablet.
    Also, eye straining when using a smart phone device.

    One of the mot surpising things I have heard is thumb strain. I noticed when I text my thumb is rotating more so. I have also correlated a lot of gaming to thumb discomfort and elbow discomfort.

    What say you?
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    Both my parents and sister wear glasses, I don't, and I probably spend far more time in front of a computer or using a phone/tablet than all of them combined. I don't read too much into it.
     
  3. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #3
    I am constantly doing something on my phone - even while working - and I haven't noticed any adverse effects - to my hands, thumbs, or anything else. And before I bought my kindle, i spent a few years reading exclusively on my phone - and again, nothing bad than I can tell (though, my eyes have been lasik corrected for about 10 years).

    I'm starting to have pain in my elbow/arm from years of 8-10 hours a day of computer/mouse usage, though - so we'll see what happens in a few years from my portables usage.
     
  4. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I'm skeptical.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #5
    Poor ergonomics will negatively impact your body regardless of the task you are doing.


    Lethal
     
  6. bruinsrme thread starter macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

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    #6
    Why because I asked for no links to studies or findings?
     
  7. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #7
    I can't fart loud enough to express my thoughts on the ergonomics "problem".

    I say, either abandon those devices, wait for improved technology, buy one (or several) the scads of aftermarket crap out there, or "harden the ****** up, cupcake".
     
  8. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    I'm old enough to predate tablets and smart phones, but I can still weigh in. I had better than 20/20 vision when I applied for the Air Force Academy. Throughout college my vision was always excellent, but my field was engineering, so the amount of reading I did was limited compared to those with more useless degrees. Anyway, within a year of starting law school, my eyesight began to rapidly change. I have almost no need for distance correction, but I developed a stigmatism from all the reading.

    I can't imagine that smart phones and tablets which people use far more than they ever read before wouldn't cause some changes to the eye structure and vision.
     
  9. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #9
    The most serious health issue from portable devices is, almost without question, is hearing loss associated to long-term listening to high-volume music through earbuds and headphones. Apple has done some, but IMHO not nearly enough, to address this problem.

    Hearing loss really is no joke. Numerous prominent musicians (Pete Towshend, etc.) have suffered from the effects of spending their early years subjected to high-decibel music.

    The worst part of hearing loss is that you don't really notice a problem until it's too late. Your initial response to diminished hearing is usually to turn the volume up still more - exacerbating the problem.

    Fortunately, early in my professional career, I was involved in my company's OSHA-mandated safety committee. This impressed upon me the value of hearing protection (ear-muffs, ear-plugs, etc.) and so I make a habit of protecting my hearing whenever I am going to be exposed to loud noises, either on my motorcycle, at the shooting range, while operating power tools, or even cutting the grass. (I've found that wearing ear-muffs results in far less fatigue.) Keeping the volume on my iPod and stereo at reasonable levels is pretty much of a no-brainer.
     
  10. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #10
    I really have to apologize.

    I'm such a skimmer that I skipped over the fact you were talking about ergonomics and assumed this was about electromagnetics.

    :eek: :( :eek: :(
     
  11. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    Oh, ergonomics... Well, I'm getting some problems with my hips trying to squeeze my legs together holding my iPad up while I... well, nevermind.
     
  12. bruinsrme thread starter macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #12
    I think that is an excellent point.

    One of my friend in IT is going in for carpal tunnel. He mentioned to me it started off a dull ache and he hardened up and marched on. His first surgery is next week.
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    Is it really Apple's problem to fix? Shouldn't portable-music-causing-deafness be Sony's problem to fix since the Walkman predates the iPod by a couple of decades? As you go on to say there are a plethora of other ways to damage your hearing that have nothing to do w/Apple.

    I'm w/you about hearing loss though. Growing up I never wore ear protection mowing my lawn (which I think caused a large portion of it) and there were a couple of concerts I went to and forgot my earplugs which left me 'club deaf' for a couple of days. The loss of hearing isn't as bad as the Tinnitus though. I usually have a fan on when I sleep because I need the white noise to drown out the ringing in my head. :(


    Lethal
     
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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  15. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #15
    The biggest threat or issue will really depend on who you are and how you define something. I come from a public administration and public health background. Most public health officials will tell you that the biggest threat from portable devices is obesity. Of course, an iPod presents a chance to increase activity by working out listening to movement, but playing basketball on your iPhone rather than in your driveway negates it, and our lifestyles have gotten more and more sedentary. As others have noted, hearing loss is a potential issue as well. As far as how the ergonomics of devices impact us, I don't think anyone can say yet to what extent. We have only been hyper-engaged in technology for a decade or two. Although I agree that down the road that there will be issues found that relate to the wrists, hands, fingers, arms, shoulders, ears, eyes, and maybe even brian which we are yet to notice enough to put the causation together.
     
  16. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #16
    Poor ergonomics locks you into poor posture. Poor posture makes you less useful as a human being. There are studies now that show huge links between sitting, watching television, using computers, and generally being sedentary and an array of first world problems from musculoskeletal disorders to disease and death.
     
  17. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Well this old bunny is 64, and that means if the body doesn't hurt, it means you're dead. [​IMG]
     
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #18
    Speak for yourself, and get off my lawn. [​IMG]
     
  19. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #19
    I'm out jogging with these earbuds that double as ear plugs and a cyclist almost ran me down because I didn't hear him behind me. Guess that could have been an impact on my health. :p
     
  20. Nabooly macrumors 6502a

    Nabooly

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    Aug 28, 2007
    #20
    My parents used to tell us that watching too much tv will cause bad eye sight. All four of us ended up with glasses :eek: Not sure if it's genes or it really was the TV. I started wearing glasses when I was 14, a few years before I had a cell phone.
     
  21. jnpy!$4g3cwk, Jun 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012

    jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #21
    "Nearworking" is associated with myopia, but, interestingly, the antidote is time spent outdoors. There are a number of papers now, but see, for example,

    Kathryn A. Rose et al, "Outdoor Activity Reduces the Prevalence of Myopia in Children", Ophthalmology, Volume 115, Number 8, August 2008.

    (ask your favorite search engine).

    It appears that if people spent more time outdoors in the daytime, and confined the tablet use to the evening, people, on average, would have better eyesight (at least up until they get cataracts). Once again, your mother was right -- eat your vegetables, don't eat a lot of sugar, and play outside until dinnertime. ;)

    "Nearworking", by the way, is up close, as with a tablet, or sewing, or repairing watches, but, not with a television some distance away.
     
  22. Andeavor macrumors 6502

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    Aug 19, 2010
    #22
    Either one of my hands tend to fall asleep while gaming exessively using a gamepad. Funnily enough, while I do get a bit of strain from staring into a computer/tablet screen a lot during the day, my eyesight has improved since I first started wearing glasses.

    I think it's all in the moderation and taking breaks, relaxing the muscles and body in between.
     
  23. danahn17 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 3, 2009
    #23
    It's hard to say one way or another because anecdotal evidence is usually one of the most flimsy means of support.

    The 2 kids needing glasses could be just coincidence or the effect of some confounding variable. For instance, maybe the time the parents bought the device is around the time where statistically most kids develop vision issues leading to glasses. Or perhaps during that same 18-24 month timeframe, the kids got into the latest book (Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc) and constantly were reading the books under their bed covers with a flashlight.

    Additionally, a lot of doctors have noted that patients link their current conditions to previous decisions, even if they were not related. For instance, a parent might think "Oh.. my child must have developed his learning disability because I bought them a Xbox and it must have affected his development and attention span" when in reality, it was just a genetic issue that was latent until recently.

    While that's not to say these issues don't exist (there is some evidence according to scientific papers) but it may not be as prevalent or as common as you would like to believe.
     

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