A randomised controlled trial evaluating an alternative mouse and forearm support on upper body discomfort and musculoskeletal disorders among engineers.
Conlon CF Krause N; Rempel DM
Occup Environ Med 2007 May; 65(5):311-318
Objectives: The aim of this intervention study was to determine the effects of an alternative mouse and/or a forearm support board on the change in upper body discomfort scores and the development of incident musculoskeletal disorders. Methods: This randomised controlled intervention trial followed 206 engineers for one year. Participants were randomised to receive (1) a conventional mouse only, (2) an alternative mouse only, (3) a forearm support board, or (4) an alternative mouse plus forearm support board. Outcome measures included weekly upper body discomfort scores and incident musculoskeletal disorders. Results: During the study, 42 participants were diagnosed with an incident musculoskeletal disorder. The group that received the forearm support board experienced a reduction in their right upper extremity discomfort (beta-coefficient -0.35, 95% CI -0.67 to -0.03) in comparison to those who did not receive a forearm board. The group that received the alternative mouse had a protective, but non-significant (p = 0.20), effect on incident cases of right upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (HR 0.57, 95% CI 0.24 to 1.34) and a non-significant reduction in neck/shoulder discomfort (beta-coefficient -0.23, 95% CI -0.056 to 0.10) in comparison to those who received a conventional mouse. Conclusions: In engineers who use a computer for more than 20 h per week, a forearm support board may reduce right upper extremity discomfort attributed to computer use.
Biological-effects; Biological-function; Biomechanical-engineering; Biomechanical-modeling; Biomechanics; Cell-biology; Cellular-reactions; Computer-equipment; Computers; Engineering; Engineering-controls; Ergonomics; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Laboratory-testing; Mathematical-models; Mechanics; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Nervous-system-disorders; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Physiological-effects; Physiological-measurements; Physiological-response; Poison-control; Quantitative-analysis; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Statistical-analysis; Tissue-disorders; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Work-practices
David M. Rempel, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 1301 South 46th Street, Building 163, Richmond, CA 94804
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of California, Berkeley