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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Ann Williams


Sitting postures of subjects reading at a horizontal desk and the Ergo-Desk, at both 19 and 75 degree slopes, were analyzed by electromyography (EMG) activity and cervical flexion measurements. The hypotheses were that muscular activity and cervical flexion would decrease as the slope of the reading material increased. Results of this study demonstrated significant differences in cervical EMG activity between the flat and sloped positions (p=.0001), and cervical range of motion between the flat and sloped positions (p=.0001). Subject preference ratings yielded significance (p=.0001) with subjects preferring both sloped surfaces over the horizontal desktop. This experiment suggests that the posture maintained while reading from a sloped surface such as the Ergo-Desk is biomechanically superior to the posture assumed while reading from a horizontal surface. The decreased demand on neck extensor musculature may lead to fewer stress-related pathologies of the cervical spine.


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