Evaluation of document location during computer use in terms of neck muscle activity and neck movement

Goostrey, Sonya, Treleaven, Julia and Johnston, Venerina (2014) Evaluation of document location during computer use in terms of neck muscle activity and neck movement. Applied Ergonomics, 45 3: 767-772. doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2013.10.007

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Author Goostrey, Sonya
Treleaven, Julia
Johnston, Venerina
Title Evaluation of document location during computer use in terms of neck muscle activity and neck movement
Journal name Applied Ergonomics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-6870
Publication date 2014-05-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.apergo.2013.10.007
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 45
Issue 3
Start page 767
End page 772
Total pages 6
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Subject 3307 Human Factors and Ergonomics
3612 Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
Abstract Control of the neck muscles is coordinated with the sensory organs of vision, hearing and balance. For instance, activity of splenius capitis (SC) is modified with gaze shift. This interaction between eye movement and neck muscle activity is likely to influence the control of neck movement. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of eye position on neck muscle activity during cervical rotation. In eleven subjects we recorded electromyographic activity (EMG) of muscles that rotate the neck to the right [right obliquus capitis inferior (OI), multifides (MF), and SC, and left sternocleidomastoid (SCM)] with intramuscular or surface electrodes. In sitting, subjects rotated the neck in each direction to specific points in range that were held statically with gaze either fixed to a guide (at three different positions) that moved with the head to maintain a constant intra-orbit eye position or to a panel in front of the subject. Although right SC and left SCM EMG increased with rotation to the right, contrary to anatomical texts, OI EMG increased with both directions and MF EMG did not change from the activity recorded at rest. During neck rotation SCM and MF EMG was less when the eyes were maintained with a constant intra-orbit position that was opposite to the direction of rotation compared to trials in which the eyes were maintained in the same direction as the head movement. The inter-relationship between eye position and neck muscle activity may affect the control of neck posture and movement.
Formatted abstract
This study evaluated the impact on neck movement and muscle activity of placing documents in three commonly used locations: in-line, flat desktop left of the keyboard and laterally placed level with the computer screen. Neck excursion during three standard head movements between the computer monitor and each document location and neck extensor and upper trapezius muscle activity during a 5 min typing task for each of the document locations was measured in 20 healthy participants. Results indicated that muscle activity and neck flexion were least when documents were placed laterally suggesting it may be the optimal location. The desktop option produced both the greatest neck movement and muscle activity in all muscle groups. The in-line document location required significantly more neck flexion but less lateral flexion and rotation than the laterally placed document. Evaluation of other holders is needed to guide decision making for this commonly used office equipment.
Keyword Document holder
Muscle activity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 30 October 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 12 Nov 2013, 07:28:59 EST by Dr Venerina Johnston on behalf of Physiotherapy