What is it about?

This study investigated the effect of SVT on head and neck posture during and after using smartphones for various periods of time in either standing or sitting postures.

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Why is it important?

The posture of the cervicothoracic region is often affected by the position of the thoracolumbar region during sitting postures. The tonic labyrinthine and optical righting reflexes are responsible for maintaining the head vertical orientation during upright activities; these reflexes typically appear immediately at birth and persist throughout the lifespan. Keeping the head upright over the sacrum will successfully fix problematic head postures, which is a functional rather than structural modification. When the head is kept upright over the feet, all parts of the axial skeleton and lower extremitieswork together as parts of a closed chain; movement in one joint will produce movement in at least one additional link in the chain. Motor activity and head, cervical, and thoracolumbar posture have a clear association with one another, and are affected by sitting and standing postures. In a dynamic and rapidly evolving digital age, the negative health consequences of screen time remain an area of research interest, especially in pediatric populations. However, there are scarce data concerning factors associated with prolonged SVT, such as acceptable viewing duration, postural changes, and incidental effects on upper spinal posture.


This study examined the effect of body position and duration of smartphones use on the neck and cervical region position in male children aged 5–12 years. The study reported that prolonged SVT is associated with increased neck and head flexion posture in children, especially in the sitting position. Parental awareness of smartphone use patterns in their children and of their postures during smartphone use is recommended to reduce the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.

Prof. Dr. Amr Almaz Abdel-aziem
Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effects of smartphone screen viewing duration and body position on head and neck posture in elementary school children, Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, January 2022, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/bmr-200334.
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