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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 221-227

Mobile phone usage among Nigerians: Risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries and preventive strategies

1 Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ayoola Ibifubara Aiyegbusi
Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_92_22

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Aims: The increase in the usage of hand-held devices (HHDs) and smartphones (SPs), especially in Nigeria has resulted in an upsurge of musculoskeletal complaints. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries due to mobile phone usage among Nigerians and the preventive strategies. Materials and Methods: This study involved 630 male and female participants above 18 years old who were purposively recruited across designated study centres in public places. The instrument used was a questionnaire specifically designed to suit the Nigerian culture and environment and developed from previously validated questionnaires. Data were exported to Statistical Computing Programming R version 4.0.5 for analysis and Chi-square was used to compare the characteristics of those who experienced injury using SPs/HHDS and those who did not. Independent variables with a 95% confidence level and P < 0.05 in the multivariate model were considered statistically significant. Results: The most common daily use of SPs/HHDS by the participants was phone calls (98.4%) followed closely by social networking (96.0%) while the occupation and educational level of the participants had statistically significant (P < 0.05) impact on musculoskeletal injuries. The type of mobile device and the time spent using these devices were also significant (P < 0.05) risk factors for injuries. Some self-treatment strategies adopted by the participants were all significantly (P < 0.05) associated with reduction of musculoskeletal discomfort. Conclusion: The occupation, educational level, the types of mobile devices and time spent using the devices were risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries.

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