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

Yan Fei Xie, Grace Szeto, Pascal Madeleine, Man Ha Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Motor control
  • Neck pain
  • Repetitive movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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