The purpose of this study is to research if a headrest benefits the comfort of the passenger and lowers muscle activity in the neck when sitting in a reclined (slouched)posture while watching in flight entertainment (IFE)in an aircraft business class seat. No significant differences in muscle activity in the musculus sternocleidomastoid and musculus trapezius pars descendant were found between the conditions with headrest and without headrest. A significant difference in expected comfort rating was found. Subjects indicated they expect to experience more comfort with a headrest when watching IFE for a duration of two movies during a long-haul flight. This study also found a significant difference in posture. In the condition without headrest the head was more upright compared to the condition with headrest. The lack of significant difference in muscle activity and the significant difference in posture may indicate that humans tend to look for a head position that is neutral, in the sense of minimal muscle effort. This study shows that the use of a headrest may benefit the comfort experience of the passenger during flight. However, further research is necessary on the design of the headrest and the long-term effects of head support on comfort, discomfort, muscle activity and fatigue for watching IFE in a slouched posture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Aircraft seat, Comfort, EMG, Headrest, Neck angle, Posture, TV

ID: 53623223