2018 Volume 30 Issue 1 Pages 67-72
[Purpose] Sitting position is the dominant position for a professional pianist. There are many static and dynamic forces which affect musculoskeletal system during sitting. In prolonged sitting, these forces are harmful. The aim of this study was to compare pianists’ back extensor muscles activity during playing piano while sitting on a regular piano bench and a chair with back rest. [Subjects and Methods] Ten professional piano players (mean age 25.4 ± 5.28, 60% male, 40% female) performed similar tasks for 5 hours in two sessions: one session sitting on a regular piano bench and the other sitting on a chair with back rest. In each session, muscular activity was assessed in 3 ways: 1) recording surface electromyography of the back-extensor muscles at the beginning and end of each session, 2) isometric back extension test, and 3) musculoskeletal discomfort questionnaire. [Results] There were significantly lesser muscular activity, more ability to perform isometric back extension and better personal comfort while sitting on a chair with back rest. [Conclusion] Decreased muscular activity and perhaps fatigue during prolonged piano playing on a chair with back rest may reduce acquired musculoskeletal disorders amongst professional pianists.