Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 181–189 | Cite as

Evaluation of Novel EMG Biofeedback for Postural Correction During Computer Use

  • Brecca M. Gaffney
  • Katrina S. Maluf
  • Bradley S. DavidsonEmail author


Postural correction is an effective rehabilitation technique used to treat chronic neck and shoulder pain, and is aimed toward reducing the load on the surrounding muscles by adopting a neutral posture. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of real-time high-density surface EMG (HDsEMG) biofeedback for postural correction during typing. Twenty healthy participants performed a typing task with two forms of postural feedback: (1) verbal postural coaching and (2) verbal postural coaching plus HDsEMG biofeedback. The interface used activity from two HDsEMG arrays placed over the trapezius designed to shift trapezius muscle activity inferiorly. The center of gravity across both arrays was used to quantify the spatial distribution of trapezius activity. Planar angles taken from upper extremity reflective markers quantified cervicoscapular posture. During the biofeedback condition, trapezius muscle activity was located 12.74 ± 3.73 mm more inferior, the scapula was 2.58 ± 1.18° more adducted and 0.23 ± 0.24° more depressed in comparison to verbal postural coaching alone. The results demonstrate the short-term effectiveness of a real-time HDsEMG biofeedback intervention to achieve postural correction, and may be more effective at creating an inferior shift in trapezius muscle activity in comparison to verbal postural coaching alone.


Biofeedback Postural correction Trapezius Cervicoscapular posture Electromyography 



We thank Brett Donnermeyer and Oscar Reyes for their contributions during data collections.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brecca M. Gaffney
    • 1
  • Katrina S. Maluf
    • 2
  • Bradley S. Davidson
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, Physical Therapy ProgramSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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