The correlation between smartphone use and musculoskeletal symptom


  • Agung Kristanto Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, 55166, Indonesia
  • Erma Wati Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, 55166, Indonesia
  • Choirul Bariyah Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, 55166, Indonesia
  • Farid Ma’ruf Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, 55166, Indonesia



ergonomic risk, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA), Smartphone, Standardised Nordic Questionnaires (SNQ)


Several issues arise from using smartphones while sitting and lying down, such as poor posture and physical discomfort. Therefore, this research aims to assess the ergonomic risk level of smartphone users and determine the correlation between self-reported musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and ergonomic risk level. Data were collected from 90 participants, aged 18 to 24, through video recording while seated and using a smartphone. MSDs were measured using the Modified Standardised Nordic Questionnaires (SNQ) and the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS). Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) was used to evaluate ergonomic risks in the posture of smartphone users. Furthermore, the correlation between MSDs and the ergonomic risk levels was evaluated using Chi-Square and Fisher's exact tests. Most smartphone users had RULA scores between 6 and 7 for both the left and right sides, suggesting a need for immediate investigation and improvement. The results showed a strong correlation between the right sided RULA total score and MSDs in the neck and upper back. Other results showed there was a significant correlation between RULA B and RULA D scores with neck MSDs, as well as between the RULA score of the right upper arm and MSDs in the right shoulder, and between the RULA score of the neck and MSDs in the neck. The trunk RULA score also had a significant correlation with upper back MSDs. The research showed that smartphone users face significant ergonomic risks.


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How to Cite

Agung Kristanto, Erma Wati, Choirul Bariyah, & Farid Ma’ruf. (2023). The correlation between smartphone use and musculoskeletal symptom. Journal of Current Science and Technology, 13(2), 326–338.



Research Article