ITKids: Is paper IT work more physically variable than computer IT work for children?

Jemma L. Coleman, Leon Straker, Robin J. Burgess-Limerick, Clare M. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Children are spending more time than ever on computers for school and leisure and the effect of computer use on their developing musculoskeletal systems is of concern. There is evidence to show that mean electromyography (EMG) does not accurately characterise risk. The aim of this study therefore, was to compare the neck/upper limb EMG variability when children use computer and paper information technology (IT), including use of keyboard/mouse and pen. The variation in EMG whilst children were actively working and being inactive was also compared. Twelve boys and 12 girls worked for 10 minutes at either a computer or a paper task, with a 5 minute break between. EMG in bilateral cervical erector spinae, upper trapezius, thoracic erector spinae, right anterior deltoid and right wrist extensor muscles was recorded and expressed as a percentage of maximum voluntary exertion. EMG variability was assessed using amplitude probability distribution function (APDF) and exposure variation analysis (EVA). Significant differences were found using Wilcoxon tests with a critical alpha level of 0.01. Using APDF, paper use resulted in a more variable muscle activity in some muscles. Using EVA, EMG during paper use was more variable than computer use only in the inactive portions of the task. Computer IT resulted in less EMG variation than paper IT.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event43rd Annual Conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia 2007, HFESA 2007 -
Duration: 26 Nov 2007 → …

Conference

Conference43rd Annual Conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia 2007, HFESA 2007
Period26/11/07 → …

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    Coleman, J. L., Straker, L., Burgess-Limerick, R. J., & Pollock, C. M. (2007). ITKids: Is paper IT work more physically variable than computer IT work for children?. Paper presented at 43rd Annual Conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia 2007, HFESA 2007, .