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Musculoskeletal disorders in demanding computer work - with air traffic control as a model

Arvidsson, Inger LU (2008) In Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series 2008:28.
Abstract
In computer work, musculoskeletal disorders are frequently reported, but the knowledge about causal relationships is limited. In air traffic control, female and male operators perform exactly the same computer work. Introduction of a new computer system implied a momentary change from a “varied” system containing different in-put devices, to a system characterized by intensive mouse-work. The effect of the change on the physical exposure was studied, as well as the musculoskeletal health before and after the change. In addition, gender differences and psychosocial factors were assessed.



The physical workload, recorded in 14 subjects in both systems by technical measurements of postures, movements and muscular load,... (More)
In computer work, musculoskeletal disorders are frequently reported, but the knowledge about causal relationships is limited. In air traffic control, female and male operators perform exactly the same computer work. Introduction of a new computer system implied a momentary change from a “varied” system containing different in-put devices, to a system characterized by intensive mouse-work. The effect of the change on the physical exposure was studied, as well as the musculoskeletal health before and after the change. In addition, gender differences and psychosocial factors were assessed.



The physical workload, recorded in 14 subjects in both systems by technical measurements of postures, movements and muscular load, showed large differences: The mouse-intensive system was associated with lower movement velocities, less varying postures and less rest in the right forearm extensor muscles. The differences were amplified at high work intensity.



Neck postures in females with neck/shoulders/upper back disorders were compared to those in healthy referents, but without significant differences.



Musculoskeletal disorders in neck and upper limbs were assessed by standardised physical examinations in 148 air traffic controllers (71 women and 77 men) and the psychosocial work environment by questionnaire. Disorders in elbows/hands increased significantly after 20 months of work in the mouse-intensive system, while in neck/shoulders/upper back, there was no consistent change. There was no gender difference in elbows/hands disorders, while the females were at higher risk in neck/shoulders/upper back. Disorders in elbows/hands were not explained by psychosocial factors.



Most likely, these findings are applicable to similar technological developments in other settings. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Associate professor Ahlgren, Christina, Samhällsmedicin och rehabilitering, Umeå Universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
prospective study, psychosocial work environment, neck-postures, technical measurements, physical exposure, computer mouse, VDU-work, diagnoses, Neck and upper limb disorders, physical examination
in
Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series
volume
2008:28
pages
66 pages
publisher
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University
defense location
Universitetssjukhuset i Lund, Föreläsningssal F3
defense date
2008-03-28 13:15
ISSN
1652-8220
ISBN
978-91-85897-81-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4287c63e-3b20-487b-908e-3f2bc058f1fb (old id 1043311)
date added to LUP
2008-03-07 09:45:07
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:48
@phdthesis{4287c63e-3b20-487b-908e-3f2bc058f1fb,
  abstract     = {In computer work, musculoskeletal disorders are frequently reported, but the knowledge about causal relationships is limited. In air traffic control, female and male operators perform exactly the same computer work. Introduction of a new computer system implied a momentary change from a “varied” system containing different in-put devices, to a system characterized by intensive mouse-work. The effect of the change on the physical exposure was studied, as well as the musculoskeletal health before and after the change. In addition, gender differences and psychosocial factors were assessed. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
 The physical workload, recorded in 14 subjects in both systems by technical measurements of postures, movements and muscular load, showed large differences: The mouse-intensive system was associated with lower movement velocities, less varying postures and less rest in the right forearm extensor muscles. The differences were amplified at high work intensity. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
 Neck postures in females with neck/shoulders/upper back disorders were compared to those in healthy referents, but without significant differences.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
 Musculoskeletal disorders in neck and upper limbs were assessed by standardised physical examinations in 148 air traffic controllers (71 women and 77 men) and the psychosocial work environment by questionnaire. Disorders in elbows/hands increased significantly after 20 months of work in the mouse-intensive system, while in neck/shoulders/upper back, there was no consistent change. There was no gender difference in elbows/hands disorders, while the females were at higher risk in neck/shoulders/upper back. Disorders in elbows/hands were not explained by psychosocial factors.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
 Most likely, these findings are applicable to similar technological developments in other settings.},
  author       = {Arvidsson, Inger},
  isbn         = {978-91-85897-81-0},
  issn         = {1652-8220},
  keyword      = {prospective study,psychosocial work environment,neck-postures,technical measurements,physical exposure,computer mouse,VDU-work,diagnoses,Neck and upper limb disorders,physical examination},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {66},
  publisher    = {Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series},
  title        = {Musculoskeletal disorders in demanding computer work - with air traffic control as a model},
  volume       = {2008:28},
  year         = {2008},
}