Neck Muscular Load When Using a Smartphone While Sitting, Standing, and Walking
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- Neck Muscular Load When Using a Smartphone While Sitting, Standing, and Walking
- Yoon, Woojin; Choi, Seobin; Han, Hyeseon; Shin, GwanSeob
- Issue Date
- SAGE Publications
- HUMAN FACTORS, v.63, no.5, pp.868 - 879
- Objective: Myoelectric activity of neck extensor muscles and head kinematic variables, when using a smartphone for one-handed browsing and two-handed texting while sitting, standing, and walking, were evaluated to compare the neck muscular load during these tasks and across the posture conditions.
Background: There has been limited research on the relation between head-down postures and the muscular load on the neck of smartphone users.
Methods: Twenty-one asymptomatic young users were asked to perform one-handed browsing and two-handed texting tasks in each of the posture conditions, and the myoelectric activities of the neck extensor muscles, head kinematic variables, and upper back posture were quantified.
Results: The muscle activation level when using a phone during walking was 21.2% and 41.7% higher than that of sitting and standing on average (p < .01). Head vertical and angular accelerations were also significantly greater (p < .01) for walking than for sitting and standing conditions. Between the two conducted tasks, participants flexed their heads more significantly (p < .01) with higher activation of the neck extensor muscles (p < .01) when texting as compared to when browsing.
Conclusion: Results indicate that two-handed texting while walking would be the most physically demanding scenario for neck musculature, and it might be attributable to the dynamics of the head while walking with the head facing downwards.
Application: These findings can be used to better understand the potential relation between smartphone use and the occurrence of neck musculoskeletal problems and to inform the users of the ergonomic risks of using smartphones while walking.
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