NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Occupational health aspects of work with video display terminals.
Environmental and occupational medicine, second edition. Rom WN, ed. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1992 Jan; :1109-1119
Research findings and current views on health risks of video display terminal (VDT) use and attendant control measures were reviewed and summarized. Four health end points were addressed: visual system dysfunction, musculoskeletal disorders, stress, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Reviews of field studies of VDT operators suggested that prevalence rates of 50% or more for at least occasional experience of certain eyestrain symptoms are typical. Ocular discomfort symptoms, as opposed to visual imperception, are the most common problems. Cataract development in VDT work has been a prime concern, but the possibility has been discounted. Miscorrected or uncorrected refractive problems may be one of the leading causes of eyestrain among VDT users. Musculoskeletal aches and pains are also common in these workers. A recent study indicated prevalence rates of 20 to 25% for almost daily discomfort in the upper torso. Neck pain, followed by shoulder pain, was the most prevalent musculoskeletal symptom in a study of over 1,000 VDT users. Long term health risk evaluations indicated that repeated stress to the musculoskeletal system is possible. The stationary and sedentary aspects of VDT work are thought to be primary risk factors for musculoskeletal discomfort. Regarding pregnancy, the weight of the evidence thus far obtained indicated that VDTs in themselves do not increase the risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Reproductive-system-disorders; Computer-equipment; Office-equipment; Video-display-terminals; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Eye-disorders; Reproductive-hazards; Risk-analysis; Epidemiology
Environmental and occupational medicine, second edition
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division