Prolonged writing task: Comparison of electromyographic analysis of upper trapezius muscle in subjects with or without neck pain

Joseph H. Leonard, K. S. Kok, R. Ayiesha, S. Das, N. Roslizawati, M. Vikram, O. Baharudin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. Work related musculoskeletal disorders represent a serious public health problem as it is a leading cause for disability and absenteeism in workers. The main purpose of the present quasiexperimental study was to compare the muscle activity of the upper trapezius in subjects with neck pain and compare it to those of normal subjects. Materials and Methods. Fifty subjects were recruited for this study after prior screening for neck pain. A Standardized Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used for analysis of neck pain in both symptomatic and asymptomatic groups. All the subjects were briefed about the study procedures and due consent was obtained prior to the start of the trial. The subjects were instructed to write for 30 minutes under standardized experimental conditions during which the activity of the upper trapezius was recorded using surface electromyography (EMG). Results. The comparison of the results in the symptomatic and asymptomatic group showed that the mean EMG activity of upper trapezius muscle was significantly higher in the former as compared to the later group (p < 0.05). The symptomatic group showed greater increase in muscle activity as compared to the asymptomatic group. Conclusion. Our results depict that prolong and continuous writing tasks show overuse of upper trapezius and altered motor control pattern in symptomatic subjects as compared to the normal asymptomatic subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalClinica Terapeutica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Action
  • Electromyography
  • Muscle
  • Neck pain
  • Study
  • Trapezius
  • Writing task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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