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Using Tablet Arms & Mounts as Part of a Supportive Workplace

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Apple’s iPad, as well as a succession of similar tablet products, have burst through the technology market in recent years. More and more people are making use of tablets for workplace tasks such as Skype interviews and calls, access to the intranet and email during lunch and meetings. Tablets were originally designed to be held in the hand and often don’t come with a good solution to long term use like a Skype call; the arm gets tired or the neck strains to constantly look toward the hand for long periods. The clever folks in the universe of design have, of course, been working away on solving these issues.

tablet stand

Introducing tablet arms - the technology industries new ergonomic tactic to prevent pains and strains when using tablets. The term ‘supportive workplace’ need not just refer to the emotional health of a workplace. With the variety of digital products coming into the market it is becoming important to realise that, in the modern office furniture design, the average office worker may not be sat in front of a desktop computer for the majority of their day.

Switching over to a tablet for a Skype call or Google hangouts interview is a common event in the lives of many workers, tablets are often used for a variety of different functions too. The varying ways of using a tablet often mean different positions & angles for viewing it. Watching a video or reading an ebook usually means the user is holding the tablet with their arms straight-out, whereas a video conference often results in seeking a more flattering angle which is often further away from the body & tilted. This awkward tilting generally isn’t well received by the muscles in the back, shoulders, neck and arms.

The effects of using these devices in less than body-friendly postures over extended periods of time, on repeated occasions, can lead to stresses, strains, discomfort and ongoing injuries. Repetitive strain injury (RSI) accounts for a large number of employee compensation claims each year; protecting your workers from RSI is a great step in maintaining a safe and supportive workplace.

Tablet arms essentially provide a moveable mechanical ‘arm’ that will hold your tablet in position for you. You might for example have a sales manager who likes to work on the slides for the monthly meeting while on Skype to his colleagues on the road. A tablet in a holding tablet arm can allow him full hands free use of his desktop to create the slides while he chats over Skype on his tablet - the tablet held at a good height next to his monitor for video. They are the video equivalent of a hands free phone headset.

Tablet arms have been designed to combat a number of issues that arise from frequent use of ‘touch interface’ devices in the workplace. They are adjustable and can hold the device in a variety of different positions to match what the user is doing at the time. They are a flexible and effective way to protect the user’s elbows from the stress and strain caused by the prolonged postures often otherwise adopted. When a call comes through via a desktop video call, the worker can continue to adjust the distance, height and angle of the tablet without causing any additional stresses on their own body. Without a tablet arm the alternatives are to either prop the tablet up on books or its own case, not ideal, especially if you are trying to work at the same time meaning the tablet may not be used to it’s full potential. With a tablet arm the tablet is essentially a second monitor and even when not being actively used can still display useful information such as email, a reference website or the live sales figures.

tablet arm mount

Many companies have adopted this trend globally, and an abundance of tablet and ipad arms are available from shops and stockists around the world. Features of tablet arms usually include an adjustable sliding brackets around the cradle that fit a number of different tablet and e-reader sizes, as well as vertical adjustment that allows for around 20cm of variability, suiting most different sitting and standing configurations. These flexible arms are most commonly fixed to a desk or surface with an adjustable clamp system, however some models are designed to be more permanently fixed into the desired workspace.

Using an iPad or tablet mount in a working environment is a useful tool for many people, providing the freedom to move around the office as needed, or take conference calls with them into meetings with other co-workers. Having the worker’s laptop or PC readily available to them as they participate in calls allows them to access information and take notes while they talk. Having the tablet safely stowed in the cradle of a tablet arm increases these benefits by freeing up both of the workers arms, permitting them to achieve more while they Skype.


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