In December 2018 researchers from Thailand, Australia and the UK published their review of the medical scientific literature to assess the effect of smartphone use on musculoskeletal disorders and pain. It is known that using a smartphone frequently forces the user to adopt an awkward posture thereby leading to an increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders and pain. A total of 12 studies were included in the review which were judged to be of moderate quality. Results showed that smartphone use appears to increase the muscle activity of the upper trapezius, erector spinae and the neck extensor muscles as well as an increase in the head flexion angle, head tilt angle and forward head shifting which increased during the smartphone use. It was also noted that using a smartphone in a sitting position appeared to cause a bigger shift in the head-neck angle than when used in a standing position. The researchers therefore concluded that smartphone usage may contribute to musculoskeletal disorders.
Eitivipart AC et al. Musculoskeletal disorder and pain associated with smartphone use: A systematic review of biomechanical evidence. Hong Kong Physiother J. 2018 Dec;38(2):77-90.