ITKids: Variation in muscle activity among schoolchildren when using different information and communication technologies

Marina Louise Ciccarelli, Leon Straker, Svend Erik Mathiassen, Clare M. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Children use various information and communication technologies (ICT), including computers. Low variation in muscle activity associated with computer use is a proposed risk factor for the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in adults, but the effect of ICT on variation in children's muscle activity is unknown. This study aimed to quantify variation of upper body muscle activity among schoolchildren during New ICT (electronic-based), Old ICT (paper-based), and Non ICT tasks. Methods: Nine children (mean [sd] age 9.1 [0.3] years) were observed over 10-12 h, while muscle activity in the right and left upper trapezius and right wrist extensors was measured using surface electromyography (EMG). ICT used was matched to EMG data. EMG variation was characterised by an index based on the standard deviation of the cell values of the Exposure Variation Analysis matrix (EVA sd), and 10-90 th percentile range of the Amplitude Probability Distribution Function (APDF (90-10)). Results: There were no significant differences in mean values or variation of right and left upper trapezius between ICT types, however right wrist extensor EMG values were greater during Non ICT. Right wrist extensor muscle activity was most variable during Non ICT tasks. Discussion: Similarities in EMG values of upper trapezius during New and Old ICT tasks may have been influenced by high work surface heights providing bilateral forearm support. Similarities in trapezius muscle variation may also have been influenced by children's tendency to fidget on task regardless of ICT used. More research is needed to determine if children's use of different ICT impacts on their health.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event42nd Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2006, HFESA 2006 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 20 Nov 200622 Nov 2006

Conference

Conference42nd Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2006, HFESA 2006
CountryAustralia
CitySydney, NSW
Period20/11/0622/11/06

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    Ciccarelli, M. L., Straker, L., Mathiassen, S. E., & Pollock, C. M. (2006). ITKids: Variation in muscle activity among schoolchildren when using different information and communication technologies. Paper presented at 42nd Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Conference 2006, HFESA 2006, Sydney, NSW, Australia.