Empirical research on stressful aspects of video display terminal operation is reviewed. Experimental laboratory investigations are reviewed and summarized as well as an examination of the literature. Areas assessed include visual system issues, musculoskeletal system issues, environmental factors, and task demand/psychosocial factors. The physical attributes of the workplace, such as task lighting, glare conditions, and anthropometric configuration of the terminals and accompanying furniture are discussed. Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and radiation are considered. Psychosocial factors take into consideration job demand, work content, and work/rest schedules. Changes in visual acuity following work at the terminal appear evident. Work sites are reported to be less than optimal with respect to glare and screen/surround contrast ratios. In some studies, occupational groups show higher rates of musculoskeletal symptoms than do other workers. Excessively high keyboards, sub optimal gaze angle, and high rates of input are suggested influential factors. A relationship is expressed between job design, job demands, and the expression of physical symptoms associated with visual and postural problems. The author recommends that approaches toward stress reduction should take job content and ergonomic factors into account.
Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science, NIOSH, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, NTIS PB83-119-230, 77 pages, 52 references