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Effect of an office ergonomic randomised controlled trial among workers with neck and upper extremity pain.

Authors
Dropkin-J; Kim-H; Punnett-L; Wegman-DH; Warren-N; Buchholz-B
Source
Occup Environ Med 2015 Jan; 72(1):6-14
NIOSHTIC No.
20045054
Abstract
Background: Office computer workers are at increased risk for neck/upper extremity (UE) musculoskeletal pain. Methods: A seven-month office ergonomic intervention study evaluated the effect of two engineering controls plus training on neck/UE pain and mechanical exposures in 113 computer workers, including a 3-month follow-up period. Participants were randomised into an intervention group, who received a keyboard/mouse tray (KBT), touch pad (TP) for the non-dominant hand and keyboard shortcuts, and a control group who received keyboard shortcuts. Participants continued to have available a mouse at the dominant hand. Outcomes were pain severity, computer rapid upper limb assessment (RULA), and hand activity level. Prevalence ratios (PRs) evaluated intervention effects using dichotomised pain and exposure scores. Results: In the intervention group, the dominnt proximal UE pain PR=0.9, 95% CI 0.7 to 1.2 and the dominant distal UE PR=0.8, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.3, postintervention. The non-dominant proximal UE pain PR=1.0, 95% CI 0.8 to 1.4, while the non-dominant distal UE PR=1.2, 95% CI 0.6 to 2.2, postintervention. Decreases in non-neutral postures were found in two RULA elements (non-dominant UE PR=0.9, 95% CI 0.8 to 0.9 and full non-dominant RULA PR=0.8, 95% CI 0.8 to 0.9) of the intervention group. Hand activity increased on the non-dominant side (PR=1.4, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.6) in this group. Conclusions: While the intervention reduced nonneutral postures in the non-dominant UE, it increased hand activity in the distal region of this extremity. To achieve lower hand activity, a KBT and TP used in the non-dominant hand may not be the best devices to use.
Keywords
Office-workers; Office-equipment; Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Extremities; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Engineering-controls; Training; Humans; Men; Women; Computer-equipment
Contact
Dr Jonathan Dropkin, Department of Population Health, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, 175 Community Drive, Great Neck, NY 11021
CODEN
OEMEEM
Publication Date
20150101
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
dropkin@nshs.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2015
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008422; M092014
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
1351-0711
Source Name
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
State
NY; MA; CT
Performing Organization
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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