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Appl Ergon. 2018 Apr;68:160-168. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2017.10.018. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

Spinal kinematics during smartphone texting - A comparison between young adults with and without chronic neck-shoulder pain.

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School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, The University of Queensland, Australia. Electronic address:
Department of Rehabilitation Science, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
Physical Activity and Human Performance Research Group, SMI, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark.


To advance our understanding about the association between smartphone use and chronic neck-shoulder pain, the objective of this study was to compare spinal kinematics between different text-entry methods in smartphone users with and without chronic neck-shoulder pain. Symptomatic (n = 19) and healthy participants (n = 18) were recruited and they performed three tasks: texting on a smartphone with one hand, with two hands, and typing on a desktop computer. Three-dimensional kinematics were examined in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions for each task. This study suggests that altered kinematics may be associated with pain since significantly increased angles of cervical right side flexion during smartphone texting and greater postural changes in cervical rotation were found during all text-entry tasks in the symptomatic group. Two-handed texting was associated with increased cervical flexion while one-handed texting was correlated with an asymmetric neck posture, indicating both text-entry methods are not favorable in terms of spinal postures.


Motor control; Neck pain; Repetitive movement

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