alexa Association of Duration of Digital Device Use with Commonly Reported Physical Health Symptoms among Medical Undergraduates

International Journal of Public Health and Safety
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Research Article

Association of Duration of Digital Device Use with Commonly Reported Physical Health Symptoms among Medical Undergraduates

Akanksha Tomar*, Bratati Banerjee and Gopal Krishna Ingle

Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

*Corresponding Author:
Akanksha Tomar
Department of Community Medicine
Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
Tel: 918376037726
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: February 28, 2017; Accepted date: March 14, 2017; Published date: March 21, 2017

Citation: Tomar A, Banerjee B, Ingle GK (2017) Association of Duration of Digital Device Use with Commonly Reported Physical Health Symptoms among Medical Undergraduates. Int J Pub Health Safe 2:121.

Copyright: © 2017 Tomar A, et al. 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.



Background: Digitalisation is now indispensable. Medical undergraduates, thought of not being much involved with technology like hard core technical streams, are rampantly using these devices, hence assessing the implications of these devices on them is necessary.

With this background we aimed to assess the association of Digital devices (computers/laptops and cell-phones) on the physical health of the users, against self-reported duration of the devices.

Methods: A cross sectional study was carried among medical undergraduates. Sample size was calculated to be 781. All students aged 18 years and above, were included. A pretested anonymous semi structured proforma with validated tools (Standardized Nordic Questionnaire for Musculoskeletal Symptoms, semi-structured visual questionnaire) was used. Schirmer’s I test was done. Duration was considered in terms of average daily use (≤ 6 hours/day or >6 h/day) and past years spent using these devices (≤ 5 years or >5 years). Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 17.

Results: Final analysis could be done on 800 participants. Musculoskeletal discomfort (MSDs) of neck (55.19%), lower back (49.55%), and upper back (31.16%) was more among frequent users, unlike shoulder (31.10%) and knee (12.53%) MSDs, reported more among those with lesser daily use. MSDs could not be attributed to past years of use. Retro-orbital pain (48.32%) was more among frequent users, while watering (59.50%) and double vision (16.74%) were frequent in those with lesser use. Tired eyes (80.28%) was more among past users, contrary, blurred vision (54.16%) was more among recent users. Duration of daily use was significantly attributing to the presence of dry eyes (47/51) while visual acuity showed no such association.

Conclusion: Benefit of these devices could be severely undermined if abuse and overuse are not kept in check. Physical symptoms, often determined by the ergonomic conditions, but screen time may add the personal risk.


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