Medical screening of office workers for upper extremity cumulative trauma disorders.
Franzblau A; Flaschner D; Albers JW; Blitz S; Werner R; Armstrong T
Arch Environ Health 1993 May; 48(3):164-170
Cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) were investigated in workers employed in a university department involved in graphic arts and medical illustration. Carpal tunnel syndrome had been diagnosed in three of seven graphic artists, but no CTDs had been reported in 39 other workers in the same department. Medical screening of office workers and an investigation of possible workplace factors that might be related to CTDs were conducted. Seven graphic artists were invited to participate in the evaluation and a sample of remaining workers was chosen as a comparative group. Graphic artists and comparison subjects had similar patterns of discomfort in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, and elbows. Graphic artists reported symptoms of the forearms, wrists and hands significantly more frequently than their coworkers. On average, the graphic artists used the computer mouse a greater fraction of each work day than did comparison subjects. They also performed cutting and pasting operations much more frequently. There were small but statistically significant differences between groups on median motor and sensory test results. Overall the results suggest that specific work elements appear to be associated with increased reporting of distal upper extremity symptoms and electrophysiologic changes at the wrist.
NIOSH Publication; NIOSH Grant; Musculoskeletal system disorders; Computer equipment; Humans; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Cumulative trauma disorders; Neuromotor disorders; Sensory disorders;
Environmental and Industrial Health, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Archives of Environmental Health
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan