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Self-reported neck symptoms and use of personal computers, laptops and cell phones among Finns aged 18–65

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible relation between self-reported neck symptoms (aches, pain or numbness) and use of computers/cell phones. The study was carried out as a cross-sectional study by posting a questionnaire to 15,000 working-age persons, and 15.1% of all respondents (6121) reported that they very often experienced physical symptoms in the neck. The results showed that they also had many other symptoms very often, and 49% used a computer daily at work and 83.9% used cell phones. We compared physical/mental symptoms of persons with symptoms in the neck quite often or more, with others. We found significant differences in the physical/mental symptoms and use of cell phones and computers. The results suggest taking into account in the future that those persons' symptoms in the neck can be associated with use of cell phones or computers.

Practitioner Summary: We investigated the possible relation between neck symptoms and use of computers/cell phones. We found that persons, who very often had symptoms in the neck, had also other symptoms very often (e.g. exhaustion at work). Their use of information and communication technology (e.g. computers) can associate with their symptoms.
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Keywords: computer; neck pain; physical symptoms; questionnaire

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Environmental Health, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 692 FI-33101, Tampere, Finland 2: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Tampere, Finland 3: Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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