Biomechanical and physiological demands associated with laptop and smartphone use in both a subclinical neck pain and healthy student population
Breitner, Victoria Anna
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The purpose of this thesis was to determine if flexed head and neck postures during long duration mobile device use will increase discomfort in two groups (healthy and neck pain – NP), or if a NP group would experience higher discomfort levels, increased neck muscle activity and examine if the NP group produces different cervical spine kinematics compared to healthy individuals. Eighteen University of Ontario Institute of Technology students completed two mobile device tasks (a one hour laptop and a 30 minute smartphone task). Participants completed three questionnaires, head and thorax kinematics were monitored, surface electromyography (SEMG) was monitored from six upper extremity muscles bilaterally (cervical extensors, upper trapezius and anterior deltoid) and electrocardiogram (EKG) monitored heart rate and breathing. Some significant differences between the smartphone and laptop tasks were identified. This work is important because it evaluated long duration smartphone and laptop computer usage, which has seen limited attention in the academic literature to date.