It's the very definition of a "First World Problem" -- how to hold your iPad without getting a crick in your neck.

But it's enough of a problem these days to catch the attention of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, who say most people hold their iPads -- and other tablets -- in ways that are almost guaranteed to cause neck pain.

In tests on an iPad and a rival machine, the Motorola Xoom, the researchers found four basic positions: on the lap with a case, on the lap without a case, propped up on the desk slightly, and propped up all the way -- almost like a computer monitor.

It's that last one they say is best for you... but that kinda defeats the purpose of a tablet, doesn't it? If you have to prop it on a desk, it's really just a computer with a smaller screen.

So you can bet most people will keep their tablets in their laps -- and a quick Google search turns up plenty of complaints over what's been dubbed "iPad Neck."

You can add that to the growing list of pains caused by high-tech gadgets.

People get back pain from lugging around laptops, carpal tunnel from typing on them all day, BlackBerry thumb (or iPhone thumb) from the overuse of smartphones and who knows what's coming next -- Siri throat, perhaps, from the overuse of voice-activated features on their iPhones.

None of this -- not the technology or the pain -- is going away anytime soon. But that doesn't mean you have to give up your tech to avoid the pain, either.

Just be smart about your smartphones, tablets and computers and how you use them. Go online and get some ergonomic pointers for your device -- and don't forget to get up every now and then, move around and stretch your neck, wrists and fingers.

And if you're going to fire up the Netflix app or watch some YouTube cat videos on your iPad, take the Harvard advice and prop it up on your desk.

Your neck will thank you.