NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
College students and computers: assessment of usage patterns and musculoskeletal discomfort.
Cooper KN; Sommerich CM; Mirka GA
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 48th Annual Meeting, September 20-24, 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2004 Oct; 48(Ind Erg):1339-1343
Time pressure from deadlines, awkward body postures and long-duration, continuous computer use are associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in workers using computers. Few studies have examined computer-use-related MSDs in college students. This study investigated computer use patterns of college students, and made comparisons to a group of computer-using professionals. 234 students completed a web-based questionnaire on computer use habits and discomfort students associated with computer use. As a group, students reported their computer use to be at least 'Somewhat likely' 18 out of 24 h/day, compared to 12 h for the professionals. Students reported more uninterrupted work behaviours than the professionals. Younger graduate students reported 33.7 average weekly computing hours, similar to hours reported by younger professionals. Students generally reported more frequent upper extremity discomfort than the professionals. Frequent assumption of awkward postures was associated with frequent discomfort. Results signal a need for intervention prior to entry into the workforce.
Muscular-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system; Computers; Computer-equipment; Work-areas; Work-operations; Ergonomics; Humans; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Cumulative-trauma-disorders
Issue of Publication
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 48th Annual Meeting, September 20-24, 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division