The association between problematic internet use and neck pain among Japanese schoolteachers

Rina Tanabe, Takashi Hisamatsu, Mari Fukuda, Hideki Tsumura, Rina Tsuchie, Masako Suzuki, Nagisa Sugaya, Koshi Nakamura, Kenzo Takahashi, Hideyuki Kanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Problematic internet use (PIU) has been suggested in relation to psychological symptoms among schoolteachers, but the relationship with physical symptoms remains unclear. We examined whether PIU or longer Internet usage time is associated with neck pain in schoolteachers. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among 2582 teachers aged 20 years or older (35.6% women) in Shimane and Tottori, Japan in 2018. Neck pain was defined as ≥5 points on the Neck Disability Index. The Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS) was used to assess PIU. Internet usage time on weekdays and weekends was divided into five groups: 0, 1–29, 30–59, 60–119, and ≥120 min/day. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the association of the CIUS score and Internet usage time on weekdays or weekends with neck pain, adjusting for sex, age, position at school, insomnia, and psychological distress. Results: We observed 800 (31.0%) teachers with neck pain. The median (interquartile range) of their CIUS scores was 7 (2, 14). A higher CIUS score was independently associated with a higher prevalence of neck pain (odds ratio of 4th vs. 1st quartiles, 1.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.06–1.87; trend P =.006). Compared with non-Internet users, Internet users on weekdays had almost double the odds of neck pain although the difference did not reach the customary level for designating statistical significance. Conclusions: In conclusion, teachers with higher scores in CIUS were associated with a higher prevalence of neck pain in Japan, suggesting adults with PIU being at risk of physical disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12298
JournalJournal of Occupational Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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