The effect of technology on the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders in students of high school in Greece


  • Eleftheria Synolaki Department of Physical Therapy, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Konstantinos Chandolias Department of Physical Therapy, University of Thessaly, Lamia, Greece
  • Alexandra Hristara-Papadopoulou Department of Physical Therapy, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Ilias Kallistratos Department of Physical Therapy, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Amalia Mathioudaki Department of Physical Therapy, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Marianna Antonaki Department of Physical Therapy, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, Greece



Electronic device, Technology, Addiction, Musculoskeletal pain


Background: There has been a rise in the proliferation of technological devices across the globe. Many children use electronic devices from the age of 3 years old, especially mobile phones. The prolonged use of electronic devices has led to a distortion of body posture, leading to musculoskeletal disorders, including neck, thoracic, and back pain, and tendonitis of the upper extremities, primarily when using one hand.

Methods: To prove the positive correlation between technology and musculoskeletal disorders and to answer the above questions, an online questionnaire was distributed to 120 students of high school from all over Greece. The questionnaire comprises questions from two standardized questionnaires, the internet addiction test (IAT) and the Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire (NQS). In addition, respondents completed a medical history and supplementary questions about their physical condition and their attitudes when using electronic devices.

Results: The results show that there is a positive correlation between long-term use of electronic devices and the occurrence of musculoskeletal problems in all parts of the body (neck, chest, lower back, hip, and lower extremities), as well as students who chose the wrong postures, had much more symptoms in contrast to the students who chose the positions with the greatest alignment. Finally, physical activity decreased significantly as the respondents' hours of using electronic devices increased.

Conclusions: Uncontrolled use of electronic devices can be a factor in the onset of symptoms, but adopting correct posture while using the devices and the good physical condition of the students would significantly reduce pain.


Wolf C, Wolf S, Weiss M, Nino G. Children’s environmental health in the digital era: understanding early screen exposure as a preventable risk factor for obesity and sleep disorders. Children. 2018;5(2):31.

Canillas F, Colino A, Menéndez P. Cellular phone overuse as a cause for trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis: a two case report. J Orthop Case Rep. 2014;4(4):6.

Kim HJ, Kim JS. The relationship between smartphone use and subjective musculoskeletal symptoms and university students. J Physical Therapy Sci. 2016;27(3):575-9.

Eitivipart AC, Viriyarojanakul S, Redhead L. Musculoskeletal disorder and pain associated with smartphone use: A systematic review of biomechanical evidence. Hong Kong Physiotherapy J. 2018;38(02):77-90.

Lepp A, Barkley JE, Sanders GJ, Rebold M, Gates P. The relationship between cell phone use, physical and sedentary activity, and cardiorespiratory fitness in a sample of US college students. Int J Behavioral Nutr Physical Activity. 2013;10(1):1-9.

Billieux J, Philippot P, Schmid C, Maurage P, De Mol J, Van der Linden M. Is dysfunctional use of the mobile phone a behavioural addiction? confronting symptom‐based versus process‐based approaches. Clin Psychol Psychotherapy. 2015;22(5):460-8.

Jung SI, Lee NK, Kang KW, Kim K, Do YL. The effect of smartphone usage time on posture and respiratory function. J Physical Therapy Sci. 2016;28(1):186-9.

Knapik JJ. The importance of physical fitness for injury prevention: part 1. Journal of Special Operations Medicine: A Peer Reviewed. J SOF Med Professionals. 2015;15(1):123-7.

Penglee N, Christiana RW, Battista RA, Rosenberg E. Smartphone use and physical activity among college students in health science-related majors in the United States and Thailand. Int J Environmental Res Publ Heal. 2019;16(8):1315.

Gustafsson E. Ergonomic recommendations when texting on mobile phones. Work. 2012;41(1):5705-6.

Cramer H, Mehling WE, Saha FJ, Dobos G, Lauche R. Postural awareness and its relation to pain: validation of an innovative instrument measuring awareness of body posture in patients with chronic pain. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2018;19(1):1-10.

Brumagne S, Janssens L, Janssens E, Goddyn L. Altered postural control in anticipation of postural instability in persons with recurrent low back pain. Gait Posture. 2008;28(4):657-62.

Revel M, Andre-Deshays C, Minguet M. Cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility in patients with cervical pain. Arch Physical Med Rehabilitation. 1991;72(5):288-91.

Brumagne S, Cordo P, Lysens R, Verschueren S, Swinnen S. The role of paraspinal muscle spindles in lumbosacral position sense in individuals with and without low back pain. Spine. 2000;25(8):989-94.

Langford ML. Poor posture subjects a worker's body to muscle imbalance, nerve compression. Occupational Health and Safety (Waco, Tex.). 1994;63(9):38-40.

Borhany T, Shahid E, Siddique WA, Ali H. Musculoskeletal problems in frequent computer and internet users. J Family Med Primary Care. 2018;7(2):337.

Ellahi A, Khalil MS, Akram F. Computer users at risk: Health disorders associated with prolonged computer use. J Business Management Economics, 2011;2(4):171-82.






Original Research Articles