Musculoskeletal symptoms and associated risk factors among office workers with high workload computer use

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Abstract

Objective: Although the prevalence of reported discomfort by computer workers is high, the impact of high computer workload on musculoskeletal symptoms remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms for office workers with high computer workload. The association between risk factors and musculoskeletal symptoms was also assessed. Methods: Two questionnaires were posted on the Web sites of 3 companies and 1 university to recruit computer users in Tainan, Taiwan, during May to July 2009. The 12-item Chinese Health Questionnaire and Musculoskeletal Symptom Questionnaire were chosen as the evaluation tools for musculoskeletal symptoms and its associated risk factors. Chinese Health Questionnaire greater than 5 and computer usage greater than 7 h/d were used to as the cutoff line to divide groups. Descriptive statistics were computed for mean values and frequencies. χ2 Analysis was used to determine significant differences between groups. A 0.05 level of significance of was used for statistical comparisons. Results: A total of 254 subjects returned the questionnaire, of which 203 met the inclusion criteria. The 3 leading regions of musculoskeletal symptoms among the computer users were the shoulder (73%), neck (71%), and upper back (60%) areas. Similarly, the 3 leading regions of musculoskeletal symptoms among the computer users with high workload were shoulder (77.3%), neck (75.6%), and upper back (63.9%) regions. High psychologic distress was significantly associated with shoulder and upper back complaints (odds ratio [OR], 3.46; OR, 2.24), whereas a high workload was significantly associated with lower back complaints (OR, 1.89). Females were more likely to report shoulder complaints (OR, 2.25). Conclusions: This study found that high psychologic distress was significantly associated with shoulder and upper back pain, whereas high workload was associated with lower back pain. Women tended to have a greater risk of shoulder complaints than men. Developing an intervention that addresses both physical and psychologic problems is important for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-540
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sep 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chiropractics

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