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Deep neck flexor endurance in university students: normative data and reliability
Phys Ther Rehabil Sci 2018;7:186-90
Published online December 30, 2018
© 2018 Korean Academy of Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science.

Su-chang Lee, Ye-rin Lee, Seong-kwang Yu, and Dong-kwon Seo

Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medical Science, Konyang University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
Correspondence to: Dong-kwon Seo (ORCID
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medical Science, Konyang University, 158 Gwanjeodong-ro, Seo-gu, Daejeon 35365, Republic of Korea
Tel: 82-42-600-8457 Fax: 82-42-600-8408 E-mail:
Received October 4, 2018; Revised November 21, 2018; Accepted November 23, 2018.
cc This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objective: Deep neck flexor muscle endurance (DNFET) is important to cervical pain patients. However, there is no normative data of the DNFET hold time of Korean university students. The purpose of this study was to provide normative data and the reliability of the DNFET times of Korean university students and to compare the DNFET hold times between male and female subjects.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Methods: The participants included 39 male and 39 female students with no cervical pain. Each DNFET was measured while the subjects kept their chin tucked in while in a supine (hook-lying) position and with the head lifted 2.5 cm off the bed. The DNFET was conducted on each subject twice and the mean values were obtained. After each measurement, the participants rested for 5 minutes. Inter-rater reliability was measured by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) by three separate evaluators.
Results: The inter-rater reliability was good, showing an ICC (2,3) value = 0.785 (95% confidence interval, 0.370-0.942). The DNFET time scores for men and women were 25.14±9.96 seconds and 15.23±6.10 seconds, respectively, in which the time scores of the men were significantly longer compared to women (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Asymptomatic men displayed higher DNFET scores than women. This study can help clinicians test cervical function of patients and set an interventional goal. These findings serve as a basis that insists Korean women to increase their amount of physical activity.
Keywords : Neck muscles, Physical endurance, Statistical data interpretation


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