Original Research

The influence of computer use on the sitting posture of high school students who develop neck and shoulder pain

Y. Brink, S. Hillier, Q. Louw, K. Schreve
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 65, No 2 | a83 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v65i2.83 | © 2009 Y. Brink, S. Hillier, Q. Louw, K. Schreve | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 January 2009 | Published: 19 February 2009

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Y. Brink,
S. Hillier,
Q. Louw,
K. Schreve,

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Abstract

The prevalence of neck and shoulder pain (NSP) is increas-ing in adolescents and is related to increased time spent on computers.The influence of sitting posture on the development of computer-relatedNSP among adolescents is unclear. This study investigated how the sittingposture of the upper quadrant changes over a ten minute period ofcomputer use in once asymptomatic adolescents who later developed NSP.M ethod: Sitting alignment was measured using the Photographic PostureA nalysis Method. The students performed a typing task while two con -secutive photographs were taken ten minutes apart. The students werefollowed for six months and the photographs of those who developed NSPw ere analy z ed.R esults: The results show that there is no significant change in sitting posture over time. Observationally the most common pattern was to move from a more flexed posture to a more upright posture and there were greater posturalchanges in the case group (students with extreme cervical angles) compared to the control group (students with thepreferred cervical ROM (34.75º - 43.95º)), although both findings were not statistically significant.Conclusion: There was no change, over a ten minute period, in the sitting posture of computing high school studentswho developed computer-related NSP after six months therefore students should be encouraged to avoid monotonoussitting in front of computers because this could be associated with NSP.

Keywords

sitting posture; computer; neck and shoulder pain; adolescents

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