Latest in Back

Image credit:

Laptops are dangerous / not dangerous: back pain edition

Nilay Patel

Look out, laptop users -- your machines are out to kill you in more ways than one. Not only do you need to worry about exploding batteries, a new article in London's Daily Mail claims that "girls as young as 12 are being diagnosed with nerve damage" from slouching over laptop screens. The main problem appears to be bad posture when using the laptop on your, uh, lap -- hunching over in this way apparently causes chronic back problems in all sorts of people. While we've certainly put a crick or two in our necks after a long work session on an plane, the story strikes us as being classic scare-journalism: although a lot of frightening statistics are trotted out, no published research is cited and the two main sources quoted are chiropractors. On top of that, the article gets one very important aspect of laptop use incredibly wrong -- the reason integrated wireless has made laptops so popular is that you can stretch out on the couch and browse the web instead of slumping over a desk. Funny thing none of those chiropractors mentioned that, eh?

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr