Apr 1, 2013

Touch Laptops With Windows 8 May Be Hazardous To Your Health

A rigid splint can keep the wrist straight.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It appears that the folks at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmund Washington didn't think about ergonomics too much when they designed the Windows 8 interface for Touch laptops. Apparently the ergonomics are causing Repetitive Strain Injury, or RSI.

From Yahoo News:

While essential for slates, and offering greater functionality for any device, touch-screen notebooks are raising eyebrows among health care professionals. In short, Windows 8 could be called ergonomically challenged, and prolonged use of touch for input could even lead to serious injury. 
Seemingly every new technology that requires physical interaction with humans brings an accompanying and novel new injury. Typewriters, and later keyboards, begat carpal tunnel syndrome; early game consoles gave birth to the joystick wrist (and more recently, gamer’s thumb); cellphones and SMS texting gave rise to BlackBerry thumb; and more recently, smartphones are responsible for so-called “text neck.” 
Dr. Emil Pascarelli, who practiced in New York City for decades before recently retiring, said these injuries all fall under the general heading of RSI, or repetitive strain injuries, and are par for the course. “Any new technology is going to have unforeseen issues,” he said. “With [Windows 8] you can surmise that it adds eye-hand motion to the screen, and that’s going to include arm and shoulder motion, so it may tend to fatigue you a lot more if you use this intensely,” Pascarelli said. He added that this type of interaction would add to the postural asymmetries already experienced when you’re sitting at a computer.
RSI if left untreated can lead to chronic pain, or even permanent loss of movement in victims hands, fingers or arms. If use of these laptops are limited to occasional use, the health effects are going to be minimal.

Do you have a Windows 8 touch laptop? Are you experiencing pain? Let us know if you are in the comments.

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