Health Benefits of the iPad

I was having a good discussion last week with @sebprovencher and during this discussion we ended up spending a few minutes talking about the iPad and the future of tablet computing. During this conversation I was explaining my personal usage of my iPad and how, since I have started using one, my desktop/laptop usage has declined dramatically. This decrease in usage has lessened the soreness in my wrists and forearms. The iPad is making me use my computer less and this seems to be helping.

iPad 3G

I have been using a computer since 1981 and if I do some back of the napkin math, I have probably spent upwards of 50K hours in front of a computer. Although I have never developed carpal tunnel, there is no doubt that my computer usage has caused soreness. A person tries to do all the right things, ergonomic keyboards, mice, proper posture, right chair, right desk, etc. but still soreness develops.

Carpal Tunnel

I have always contested that the keyboard and mouse (although revolutionary) are not the best interfaces and not the most user friendly devices for novices getting into the computing. I think touch is more human friendly.

Since getting my iPad, I try to do as much as possible using this interface. In doing so, I have probably decreased by keyboard usage upwards of 40% which is helping my wrists and forearms. Here are the top 5 things that I use my iPad for;

1) Ingestion of News – A lot of my work revolves around spotting trends, therefore I ingest a lot of news on a daily basis from a variety of sources
2) Email – Outlook Exchange access gives me direct access to my corporate and personal email
3) Social – Big part of my usage is related to social media, twitter, facebook, etc. in which the iPad is my primary window into those worlds
4) Presentation – My iPad is becoming my defacto tool for presentations (display of files to other people) as well as my main tool for watching presentations (Goto or WebEx)
5) Entertainment – Music, Video and some gaming for sure

Although I could never replace my laptops (I use 3 on a daily basis for different purposes), I am glad that I am getting a health benefit from using my iPad; my wrists and forearms are thanking me.

What do you think?