Effectiveness of an application-based neck exercise as a pain management tool for office workers with chronic neck pain and functional disability: A pilot randomized trial

Jae Hyuk Lee, Min Young Lee, Tae Hyun Lim, Tae Yeong Kim, Seung Min Kim, Dong Won Suh, Sang Heon Lee, Bum-Chul Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Chronic neck pain in office workers is a prevalent occupational disorder. Recently, smartphone applications (apps) have increased rapidly, and provide the benefits in terms of accessibility to health information. The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an app-based exercise in office workers on pain intensity, functional disability, exercise adherence, muscle strength, quality of life and fear-avoidance. Methods 20 office workers participated in the study excluding one drop-out. The app-based exercise group (n = 11) conducted neck exercise through the mobile app in the workplace environment for at least 10–15 min/day, 2 days/week for 8 weeks while the control group (n = 9) received a brochure showing how to correct their posture themselves during the same period. Evaluations using the following were performed at baseline and after 8 weeks: the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), for pain intensity; Neck Disability Index (NDI), for functional disability; level of exercise adherence; maximal voluntary flexion/extension strength (MVFS/MVES); 36-Item Short-Form Healthy Survey (SF-36), for quality of life; and Fear-Avoidance Belief Questionnaire (FABQ). Results Within the app-based exercise group, the VAS (P = 0.003) and NDI (P = 0.005) improved significantly after the app-based neck exercise. MVES (P = 0.013), physical component summary (P = 0.02) of the SF-36, and the work-related subscale (P = 0.011) in the FABQ improved significantly. The level of exercise adherence was high. In VAS and NDI, there were statistically significant differences in the amounts of improvement between the groups. Conclusion An app-based neck exercise positively effects pain intensity, functional disability and partially improves muscle strength, SF-36 score, and FABQ score.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1



  • Application-based exercise
  • McKenzie approach
  • Neck pain
  • Pain management
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Cite this