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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 220-224

Musculoskeletal pain and risk factors associated with smartphone use in university students

1 Department of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, MGM College of Physiotherapy, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, MGM School of Physiotherapy, MGMIHS, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prachita P Walankar
Mahatma Gandhi Mission's College of Physiotherapy, Plot No. 46, Sector-30, Vashi, Navi Mumbai - 400 705, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.ijoem_351_20

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Background: Smartphone has become a very popular necessity among students. An individual has to look at their phone's small monitor and perform repetitive movements in an awkward posture for a prolonged duration. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and associated risk factors in university students because of smartphone usage. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 2000 university students using a semi-structured questionnaire comprising demographic profile, smartphone usage characteristics, presence of musculoskeletal pain, and specific area of pain according to the body region. Results: Among the 2000 students, 44.05% reported musculoskeletal pain. The most common sites of pain were the neck (34.2%), thumb (17.45%), lower back (16.7%), and elbow (16.6%). There was an association between prevalence of musculoskeletal pain with the size of the smartphone (P = 0.005), the predominant purpose of smartphone usage (P = 0.002), position preferred while using smartphone (P = 0.000), and the level at which smartphone is held during usage (P = 0.05). Logistic regression analysis revealed that the strongest predictor of musculoskeletal pain was the size of the smartphone. Conclusion: The study reported that the prevalence of pain in smartphone users is high with common sites being neck, thumb, and lower back region. Also, the size of the smartphone had a significant association with musculoskeletal pain.


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