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Physiother Theory Pract. 2017 Aug;33(8):661-669. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2017.1328716. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

The effects of smart phone gaming duration on muscle activation and spinal posture: Pilot study.

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a Department of Physical Therapy , Yonsei University , Wonju , Kangwon-do , Republic of Korea.
b Department of Physical Therapy , Suwon Women's University, Bongdam-eup Hwaseong , Kyonggi-Do , Republic of Korea.


This study investigates changes in the posture angles of the neck and trunk, together with changes in the muscle activation of users, at the start of and at 5, 10, and 15 minutes of smartphone use. Eighteen males participated in this study. Surface electromyography (EMG) and a digital camera were used to measure the muscle activation and angular changes of the neck and trunk of participants during smartphone use for a period of 16 minutes. Neck and trunk flexion significantly increased at 5, 10, and 15 minutes (p < 0.05) in comparison with the neck and trunk flexion of participants at the start of smartphone usage. The EMG activation and 10th%amplitude probability distribution function (APDF) values of the bilateral cervical erector spinae at 5-6, 10-11, and 15-16 minutes of usage (p < 0.05) were also significantly greater than at the start of usage. The EMG activation of the bilateral thoracic erector spinae and lower trapezius was significantly decreased at 5-6, 10-11, and 15-16 minutes of usage (p < 0.05). Smartphone use induced more flexed posture on the neck and trunk than other visual display terminal (VDT) work. Smartphone use also changed posture and muscle activation within a relatively short amount of time, just 5 minutes. Pain after 16 minutes of smartphone use was also observed. Thus, clinicians should consider the influences of smartphone use in posture and muscle activity in evaluation, intervention, and prevention of neck and trunk conditions.


Electromyography; posture; smartphone

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