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A review of physical exercises recommended for VDT operators.
Lee K; Swanson N; Sauter S; Wickstrom R; Waikar A; Mangum M
Appl Ergon 1992 Dec; 23(6):387-408
Exercises proposed for video display terminal (VDT) users were reviewed with regard to usability and physiotherapeutic/safety criteria. A total of 127 separate exercises for VDT users or office workers were evaluated from 12 exercise programs that were identified in the literature. The source, exercise instructions, and a listing of the primary muscle groups recruited were categorized in table form. Each exercise was classified according to the body part primarily affected: neck, shoulder, elbow/lower arm, lower back/hip, and knee/lower leg. Usability of the exercises were evaluated by the following criteria: specificity of instructions, location most suitable for performance, conspicuousness, time requirement/disruption of work task, and ease of learning/performance. Physiotherapeutic assessment included concerns such as aggravation of preexisting medical conditions, replication/exacerbation of physical stresses associated with the task, and safety/therapeutic performance issues. The results indicated that a significant number of exercises recommended for VDT users could be performed at the workstation, and the instructions for the exercises were satisfactory. Many of the exercises were found to reproduce or exacerbate some of the physical or biomechanical demands of VDT work. More than a third of the back exercises appeared unsafe to perform. Many of the shoulder and back exercises were highly conspicuous and potentially embarrassing to perform. The authors conclude that the practical and therapeutic aspects of physical exercises for VDT operators need to be addressed.
NIOSH-Author; Ergonomics; Humans; Musculoskeletal-system; Occupational-health; Office-workers; Physical-exercise; Preventive-medicine; Video-display-terminals
Issue of Publication
LA; OH; GA
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division