I’ve authored several articles on the problems associated with “text-neck” and this study tells us why we should practice better texting ergonomics.
Influence of Neck Flexion Angle on Gravitational Moment and Neck Muscle Activity when using a Smartphone while Standing
This study compares the effects of different neck flexion angles on neck gravitational moment and muscle activity of users that stand and operate a smartphone. Thirty-two healthy young adult smartphone users performed texting tasks for three minutes at four different neck flexion angles (0°, 15°, 30°, and 45°) while standing.
Neck gravitational moment and cervical erector spinae (CES) and upper trapezius (UT) activity were investigated. When the neck flexion angle increased, the gravitational moment of the neck increased significantly. The muscle activity of CES significantly increased when the neck flexion angle increased, whereas that of UT decreased. The lowest gravitational moment of the neck at 0° flexion was consistent with the lowest CES muscle activity and the lowest neck discomfort score.
In conclusion, for texting while standing, adults should maintain their neck posture at 0° flexion to reduce the gravitational force acting on the cervical spine and alleviate neck discomfort. During smartphone use when standing, excessive neck flexion (30° and 45° flexion) should be avoided. The suggested neck posture when operating a smartphone while standing is 0° flexion.
Reference: Tapanya, Weerasak et al. “Influence of neck flexion angle on gravitational moment and neck muscle activity when using a smartphone while standing.” Ergonomics vol. 64,7 (2021): 900-911. doi:10.1080/00140139.2021.1873423
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