The Influence of Inhibitory Control on Alignment of the Head and Neck Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.S., Psychology) -- University of Idaho, 2016 | Background: Forward head posture (FHP) is detrimental, but its causes are not well understood. We examined how attention contributes to acute FHP and related cervical misalignment. Hypotheses: Anticipating movement could cause the head to get “ahead of” the body, resulting in acute FHP. Postural attention may reduce FHP. Poor inhibitory control, low mindfulness, or high impulsivity may exacerbate FHP. Method: Participants walked to grasp a bar, at leisurely or rushed speeds, at different heights, or while balancing an object, with and without postural attention. Results: FHP increased when anticipating movement, decreased with postural attention, and increased with task difficulty. High impulsivity and low mindfulness related to FHP, shortened neck related to neck disability and poor inhibitory control, and backward head tilt related to poor inhibition. Conclusion: Maintaining neutral posture may require inhibition of an impulse to put the head forward when anticipating movement. With repetition, this may become chronic.

publication date

  • June 1, 2016