20 Jan 2022

Learning good habits

The Covid-19 pandemic saw many students switch to remote classes and lectures, with increasing numbers choosing to access resources via their smartphones. The impact of using these devices has come under the spotlight in new research into their potential links to posture and musculoskeletal pain, as well as how their effects compare to laptops, desktops and tablet computers.

The study surveyed 500 college students in the US about the different types of tech they used and their posture while they were using it. They were also asked about any pain or discomfort they experienced and their stress and activity levels.

Although participants used their smartphones for more hours than their laptop, the study found they worked for longer without a break on laptops. In general, the students who spent longer in more sedentary postures reported the most pain and could benefit the most from behaviour change that encourages them to alter their position.

The study, published this month in the journal BMC Public Health, also suggested that devices such as smartphones could be used to help solve some of the problems linked to their use. It concluded: “The use of these same devices to prompt, encourage, and nudge proper behaviours, including breaks from their use and proper ergonomics, are both feasible and the most likely path toward better health outcomes for students.”

Read the full article.