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Shin, Hyekyoung (2010) MUSCULOSKELETAL SYMPTOMS AND LAPTOP COMPUTER USE AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Laptop computers are widely used by college students for academic and leisure activities (Cortes, Hollis, Amick, & Katz, 2002). However, there is limited research that identifies risk factors for musculoskeletal discomfort during laptop computer use in this population. This dissertation includes two studies: Study 1: This survey study explores characteristics of laptop computer use and relationships between laptop-related risk factors and discomfort; Study 2: This randomized cross-over study examines the effects of three most common laptop workstation setups on upper body postures, discomfort, and task productivity.Thirty students were recruited from the University of Pittsburgh. The survey was a self-administered questionnaire. Subjects¡¯ posture were videotaped while typing for 10 minutes in six laptop workstation setups (desktop sitting, chair sitting, lying prone, lying supine, floor sitting, and lap sitting), and the three most common workstation setups were analyzed. Body angles were digitized at 10-time points and averaged using ImageJ. Typing style was identified using the Keyboard-Personal Computer Style Instrument. Discomfort was determined using a 10-cm VAS. Task productivity was assessed by typing speed and accuracy. Data were analyzed by ANOVAs and Bonferroni post-hoc comparisons.Subjects were primarily female (83.3%), with a mean age of 26.0¡¾7.3, and white (63.3%). Survey results showed that the most common workstation setups were desktop sitting, followed by lying supine and chair sitting. There were no statistically significant relationships between laptop-related factors (duration and type of workstation setup) and discomfort. Most body angles were significantly different between the three workstation setups: neutral wrists and ulnar deviation, upright trunk, and greater shoulder flexion during desktop sitting; greater neck flexion, wrist extension, and ulnar deviation during chair sitting; less neck flexion and greater wrist flexion and trunk extension during lying supine. For typing style, subjects showed large differences in static postures among the workstation setups. Less discomfort and faster typing speed were observed during desktop sitting, followed by lying supine, and then chair sitting. Overall more neutral postures and less discomfort were observed during desktop sitting, followed by lying supine and chair sitting. These findings highlight the importance of laptop workstation setup choice for preventing potential musculoskeletal problems.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shin,, hshin98@gmail.comHYS6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBaker, Nancy Anab36@pitt.eduNAB36
Committee MemberRaina, Ketki Dkraina@pitt.eduKRAINA
Committee MemberHolm, Margo Bmbholm@pitt.eduMBHOLM
Committee MemberCham, Rakiercham@pitt.eduRCHAM
Date: 23 December 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 December 2010
Approval Date: 23 December 2010
Submission Date: 7 December 2010
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Laptop computer; Musculoskeletal symptom; College students; Postural risk factor
Other ID:, etd-12072010-091843
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


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