Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in adolescents and association with computer and videogame use (2015)

J Pediatr (Rio J). 2015 Dec 28. pii: S0021-7557(15)00178-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jped.2015.06.006.

Silva GR1, Pitangui AC2, Xavier MK1, Correia-Júnior MA3, Araújo RC4.



This study investigated the presence of musculoskeletal symptoms in high school adolescents from public schools and its association with electronic device use.


The sample consisted of 961 boys and girls aged 14-19 years who answered a questionnaire regarding the use of computers and electronic games, and questions about pain symptoms and physical activity. Furthermore, anthropometric assessments of all volunteers were performed. The chi-squared test and a multiple logistic regression model were used for the inferential analysis.


The presence of musculoskeletal pain symptoms was reported by 65.1% of the adolescents, being more prevalent in the thoracolumbar spine (46.9%), followed by pain in the upper limbs, representing 20% of complaints. The mean time of use for computers and electronic games was 1.720 and 583 minutes per week, respectively. The excessive use of electronic devices was demonstrated to be a risk factor for cervical and lumbar pain. Female gender was associated with the presence of pain in different body parts. Presence of a paid job was associated with cervical pain.


A high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in adolescents, as well as an increased amount of time using digital devices was observed. However, it was only possible to observe an association between the increased use of these devices and the presence of cervical and low back pain.