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Health and Fitness

The new reading position is quick march?
February 8, 2015 | 2:26 pm

For those concerned with the health effects of their sedentary reading habits, a new study could be inspiring. And although it's specifically about work habits, its application to reading should be obvious. The study, by a joint team from the Tech3lab, HEC Montreal, and the OU Price College of Business, set up an experiment "in which participants either sat or walked while they read a text and received emails. Afterward, all participants performed a task to evaluate their attention and memory. Behavioral, neurophysiological, and perceptual evidence showed that participants who walked had a short-term increase in memory and attention, indicating that the...

My Summer of Ergonomics Begins!
June 20, 2013 | 8:46 pm

ergonomicsI am delighted—but nervous—to officially be on summer holiday! I'm looking forward to a less structured schedule, and I have plenty to keep me busy. But unfortunately, most of this stuff is computer-related. I looked far and wide for an in-person offering for a continuing-education course I want to take and found that everyone was doing it online only—and that's in addition to an online training program I've been plugging away at all year long, and in addition to my writing work for TeleRead and others. So, why am I nervous? Well, last summer, I did away with my E Ink reader...

E-Book Ergonomics: Best Practices?
September 12, 2012 | 10:29 am

I was working only part-time over the summer, and had a lot more time for reading than I usually do. I found, to my dismay, that about halfway through July, I started getting wrist issues: pain when I typed for long periods, numbness and tingling at night and other troublesome symptoms. What was the culprit, and how did I begin solving the problem? My conclusions surprised me! 1) Identifying the Culprit I had found that, during the school year, I barely used my Kindle at all. I had the iPad with me at school so I would read during short breaks. And then...

Gadget distraction increasingly causing pedestrian accidents
July 30, 2012 | 7:59 pm

Better be careful if you use that e-reader while walking. The Washington Post has an Associated Press story on walker distraction causing accidents and injuries. According to the AP, reports of distracted walkers being treated at hospitals have more than quadrupled over the last 7 years, and there are almost certainly plenty of such accidents that don’t get reported. It’s unclear how many of these accidents can be attributed to personal electronics, but it may be due at least in part to e-reading’s rapid surge in popularity over the last few years. Of course, e-reading is far from the...

Seeking one-handed e-reading solutions
January 4, 2012 | 7:07 pm

I haven’t posted much over the last few days, partly because of some trying times my family is going through right now. On New Year’s Eve, my Mom was in a farm equipment accident and ended up having her right arm amputated a few inches below the shoulder. It’s been hitting the family pretty hard, but we’ve had a lot of support from friends and family. It may take some time, but sooner or later we’ll be all right—or at least as all right as we can be under the circumstances. We’re all trying to think of ways that...

Appendicitis: E-reading view from a hospital bed
September 27, 2011 | 4:01 pm

hospedSaturday afternoon, I started feeling abdominal pain. I thought it was just food poisoning or the stomach flu, but when it didn’t improve by Sunday afternoon I went down to the local urgent care center and learned that it was, in fact, appendicitis. They operated right away, removing the no-longer-necessary appendage from my body through laparoscopy, and sent me home to stay with my parents on Monday morning. During the operation process, a few more things about the iPod Touch vs. the iPad for e-reading were brought home to me. While I was waiting for the verdict from...

Dr. Peter Watts hospitalized after emergency surgery
March 3, 2011 | 11:16 pm

Canadian SF writer Dr. Peter Watts just can’t seem to catch a break. We covered his arrest and conviction for getting out of his car when crossing the US/Canada border. Now, while in the hospital for a routine skin biopsy on his leg, he managed to contract necrotising fasciitis, otherwise known as “flesh-eating bacteria”. After emergency surgery, he is now stuck in the hospital recovering, with no prospect of going home any time soon. To make matters worse, the hospital does not have Internet access. (I’m not making light here. When I was in the hospital for a...

Doctors underrepresented in on-line medical advice
February 25, 2011 | 11:42 am

Vaporize him!One of the great things about the current state of electronic text is how much information and advice is available free on-line for the asking—concentrations of expertise in answer sites like Quora, as well as pre-published content available through search engines. But when it comes to important matters such as medical advice, there’s an amazing amount of misinformation out there. It seems a lot more people enjoy giving medical advice than are really qualified to give it. One problem is, when it comes to giving out advice, doctors are sadly underrepresented in social media. A CNet...

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