It’s been a busy week in portable-computing ergonomics. A flurry of news coverage makes it seem as if we have suddenly awakened from a long slumber and realized that our smart phones, phablets, and tablets are out to get us.
First, on Tuesday The Atlantic published a widely shared article on What Texting Does to the Spine, which showed how looking down at your cell phone can wreck your neck.
Then, just a few hours later, the savvy and prescient editors at GeekWire published an excerpt from my book entitled “Scared Sitless: 3 Strategies for Proper Ergonomics with Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones.”
That article shows how you can mitigate the hazards of portable computing by correctly setting up your phone, tablet, or laptop as you compute on the go. You can read the article here.
Then, on Thursday I got in the mail my copy of this week’s New Yorker, which opens with a half-page cartoon of a guy wearing a Google glass, holding a smart phone, wearing a smart watch, with a tablet and a laptop on the table in front of him saying “Hold on, I’m going to conference in my wrist.” (There’s also a cartoon in that issued that takes a fun jab at standing while working.)
I’m not sure where this flurry of interest in portable ergonomics came from, but it’s a good reminder to all of us caught up in the world of mobile computing to stay attuned to our ergonomic set-up, no matter where we are.
By the way, in the interest of historical accuracy, I will point out that I’ve on top of this issue since the inception of my office-fitness business. In fact, the very first post in this blog, way back in January of 2007, was Growth of PDA-Related Injuries a Concern.