Current Research in Medicine

The Prevalence of Computer-Related Musculoskeletal Pain Among College Students-a Cross-Sectional Study

Venkatesan Rajagopal, Rosmah Mohd Rosli, Pederlia Rintai, Nurani Rustim, Rita Benadus and Warni Usai

DOI : 10.3844/amjsp.2012.33.36

Current Research in Medicine

Volume 3, 2012

Pages 33-36

Abstract

Problem statement: In the recent years, there has been an increase in incidence of musculoskeletal complaints among college students. Potential risk factors for this might be increased use of computers. The purpose of this study was to examine among college students (a) the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and (b) the association of musculoskeletal pain with computer use and physical activity performed during last one week. Approach: A cross-sectional study was performed among college students aged 19-27 years in the first through third years of their college study. Using random sampling, two surveys, the Boston University Computer and Health Survey and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire with informed consent were distributed to 200 college students. Out of 178 surveys returned, 170 surveys were found to be acceptable. Results: About 88% (149/170) of the respondents reported musculoskeletal complaints in the two weeks prior to completing the survey. The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain was higher in female 90% than in male students 76%. Although there was no statistically significant association between the type of computer and musculoskeletal pain, the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain was higher for students using laptop ( 90% ) when compared to those using both desktop and laptop and desktop only (87 and 86%) respectively. There was no statistically significant correlation for musculoskeletal pain with hours of computer use per day, type of computer used and level of physical activity. Conclusion: This study strengthens the findings that musculoskeletal pain is common among college students but it is not influenced by computer use and level of physical activity. Future research should continue on larger students’ sample to better understand the musculoskeletal complaints, physical activity and computer use and to find whether these factors are related.

Copyright

© 2012 Venkatesan Rajagopal, Rosmah Mohd Rosli, Pederlia Rintai, Nurani Rustim, Rita Benadus and Warni Usai. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.