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A randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of new task chairs on shoulder and neck pain among sewing machine operators: The Los Angeles Garment Study.

Authors
Rempel DM; Wang-P-C; Janowitz I; Harrison RJ; Yu F; Ritz BR
Source
Spine 2007 Apr; 32(9):931-938
NIOSHTIC No.
20032015
Abstract
Study Design: This is a 4-month randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of chair design on neck/shoulder pain among sewing machine operators. Objective: Determine whether a chair with a curved seat pan leads to improved changes in monthly neck/shoulder pain scores compared with a control intervention. Summary of Background Data: Sewing machine operators experience a high prevalence and severity of neck and shoulder pain in comparison to other working populations probably due to the sustained shoulder abduction and neck and upper back flexion required of the task. An adjustable height task chair that supports a forward sitting posture may reduce these posture-related risk factors and reduce neck/shoulder pain. Materials and Methods: A total of 277 sewing machine operators with neck/shoulder pain were assigned to receive 1) miscellaneous items (control group), 2) a chair with a flat seat pan plus miscellaneous items, or 3) a chair with a curved seat pan plus miscellaneous items. Participants completed a monthly questionnaire assessing neck/shoulder pain severity. Results: Based on estimates of pain score changes from a repeat-measures linear regression, participants who received the flat seat chair experienced a decline in pain of 0.14 (95% confidence interval, 0.07-0.22) points per month compared with those in the control group, while those who received the curved seat experienced a decline of 0.34 (95% confidence interval, 0.28-0.41) points per month compared with those in the control group. These estimates did not change after adjustment for potential covariates. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that an adjustable height task chair with a curved seat pan can reduce neck and shoulder pain severity among sewing machine operators.
Keywords
Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Mathematical-models; Statistical-analysis; Questionnaires; Factory-workers; Assembly-line-workers; Machine-shop-workers; Machine-operation; Equipment-operators; Author Keywords: neck pain; shoulder pain; randomized controlled trial; occupational health; chair design
Contact
David Rempel, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine, University of California - San Francisco, 1301 South 46th Street, Building 163, Richmond, CA 94804
CODEN
SPINDD
Publication Date
20070420
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
david.rempel@ucsf.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2007
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-007779; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008429
Issue of Publication
9
ISSN
0362-2436
Source Name
Spine
State
CA
Performing Organization
University of California - Los Angeles
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