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The Physical, Mental, and Emotional Stress Effects of VDT Work.

Smith MJ
IEEE CG and A 1984 Apr:23-27
Problems associated with working with video display terminals (VDT) were discussed. Studies on disorders reported by VDT operators have revealed differences in reports of complaints between different jobs. Data acquisition workers had the highest rate of musculoskeletal complaints in one study, and another study indicated that clerical VDT workers had higher numbers of complaints than clerical nonVDT workers or professional VDT workers. Possible causes of such problems were noted to be increased rate of keystrokes involved with VDT usage, body position, and height of the workstation which influences positioning of arms, wrists, hands, and neck. The author notes that to help alleviate these problems the VDT and desk supporting it should be adjustable, and copy holders and chairs with proper support should be used. Studies on emotional and mental problems of VDT workers demonstrated that VDT workers have higher levels of anxiety, irritability and mental fatigue than nonVDT workers. VDT operators also reported higher levels of psychological disturbances and job stress. Remedies for this situation include providing a sense of accomplishment and self esteem for VDT workers, increasing worker decision making, getting increased feedback from workers, establishing identification with the work, promoting socialization, encouraging worker input, proper training, not downgrading automated workers, providing advancement opportunities, and having supportive supervisors.
Ergonomics; Video-display-terminals; Worker-health; Muscle-tension; Job-stress; Psychological-stress; Physiological-stress; Occupational-hazards;
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Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division