FREQUENCY OF NON-SPECIFIC NECK PAIN AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH PROLONGED USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES IN STUDENTS TAKING ONLINE CLASSES DURING COVID-19
Keywords:COVID-19, Neck pain, Text Neck
Introduction: The prevalence of neck pain among students has been on the rise, attributed to the increased use of electronic devices such as cell phones and computers. This prolonged usage, often coupled with poor posture, has been found to cause damage to nerves, muscles, and tendons in the neck region, as well as in the fingers, wrist, elbow, and shoulders. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between prolonged use of electronic devices and neck pain among students at the Johar Institute of Professional Studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Material & Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was conducted at the Johar Institute of Professional Studies, involving a total sample of 385 undergraduate students. The participants were selected using a non-probability purposive sampling technique, encompassing both genders with ages ranging from 17 to 28 years, and who used cell phones, laptops, or computers for more than 3 hours daily. Exclusion criteria included individuals not meeting the specified inclusion criteria, recent history of fall or surgery, or chronic neck pain lasting more than 3 months. Data collection involved the use of the Numeric Pain Rating Scale and the Neck Disability Index, with data analysis conducted using SPSS version 21.
Results: Of the 385 students included in the study, 187 were male and 198 were female. The findings revealed that 35 subjects reported no pain, 152 experienced mild pain, 158 reported moderate pain, and 40 suffered from severe pain. The study indicated a notable increase in the prevalence of neck pain among students due to prolonged use of electronic devices during online classes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusion: The study concluded that there is a significant incidence of neck pain associated with the use of mobile phones and laptops. Furthermore, the duration of mobile and laptop use was found to be correlated with neck pain, particularly during online classes. Notably, students who used cell phones for more than 4 hours a day were found to experience moderate neck pain. These findings underscore the need for awareness and measures to mitigate the impact of prolonged electronic device use on students' neck health.