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Video Display Terminal Workstation Improvement Program: I. Baseline Associations Between Musculoskeletal Discomfort and Ergonomic Features of Workstations

Demure, Bernard MD; Luippold, Rose S. MS; Bigelow, Carol PhD; Ali, Danielle RN; Mundt, Kenneth A. PhD; Liese, Bernhard MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2000 - Volume 42 - Issue 8 - p 783-791
Original Articles

Associations between selected sites of musculoskeletal discomfort and ergonomic characteristics of the video display terminal (VDT) workstation were assessed in analyses controlling for demographic, psychosocial stress, and VDT use factors in 273 VDT users from a large administrative department. Significant associations with wrist/hand discomfort were seen for female gender; working 7+ hours at a VDT; low job satisfaction; poor keyboard position; use of new, adjustable furniture; and layout of the workstation. Significantly increased odds ratios for neck/shoulder discomfort were observed for 7+ hours at a VDT, less than complete job control, older age (40 to 49 years), and never/infrequent breaks. Lower back discomfort was related marginally to working 7+ hours at a VDT. These results demonstrate that some characteristics of VDT workstations, after accounting for psychosocial stress, can be correlated with musculoskeletal discomfort.

From the Health Services Department, The World Bank, Washington, D.C. (Dr Demure, Ms Ali, Dr Liese); and Applied Epidemiology, Inc, Amherst, Mass. (Ms Luippold, Dr Bigelow, Dr Mundt).

Address correspondence to: Rose S. Luippold, MS, Applied Epidemiology, Inc, PO Box 2424, Amherst, MA.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.