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Value Stream Maps - Improving Procurement of Ergonomic Office Equipment
This article presents research that shows how value stream maps (VSMs) were used to document the procurement process for office equipment to establish better methods of helping users obtain equipment to reduce the risk of overuse injuries in their office jobs. • The research consisted of two parts: 1) a survey to employees regarding office equipment; and 2) three focus groups with employees who were active in the procurement process. VSMs of the current process were created from the survey data and improved with focus group input. • The benefits of using a VSM include obtaining user input...
Acute Effects of Interrupting Sitting on Discomfort and Alertness of Office Workers
Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of 4 hours of sitting interrupted with hourly bouts of standing and/or pedaling versus uninterrupted sitting on alertness and discomfort among sedentary office workers. Methods: Fifteen middle-aged sedentary workers were randomized to three 4-hour conditions: (1) uninterrupted sitting; (2) sitting interrupted with 10 minutes of standing/hour; and (3) sitting interrupted with 10 minutes of pedaling/hour. Self-reported measures of alertness and discomfort were collected. Results: Uninterrupted sitting significantly increased discomfort (P...
Ergonomic interventions for preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb and neck among office workers
Work-related upper limb and neck musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common occupational disorders worldwide. Studies have shown that the percentage of office workers that suffer from MSDs ranges from 20 to 60 per cent. The direct and indirect costs of work-related upper limb MSDs have been reported to be high in Europe, Australia, and the United States. Although ergonomic interventions are likely to reduce the risk of office workers developing work-related upper limb and neck MSDs, the evidence is unclear. This is an update of a Cochrane Review which was last published in 2012...
The impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion interventions on office worker productivity
A cluster-randomized trial A 12-week workplace combined ergonomics and neck-specific exercise intervention improves sickness presenteeism and monetized health-related productivity loss among a general population of office workers and longer-term sickness absenteeism for those with neck pain, when compared to ergonomics and health promotion education combined. This study provides employers of office workers sought-after evidence of health-related productivity benefit from such workplace interventions. Source: Pereira, M., Comans, T., Sjøgaard, G., Straker, L., Melloh, M., O'Leary, S....
Economic evaluation of a randomized controlled trial of an intervention to reduce office workers’ sitting time: the "Stand Up Victoria" trial
Multicomponent intervention involving a sit-and-stand desk can reduce sitting time and increase the standing and stepping time during the working hours for office-based workers, and it is likely to promote the cardiovascular fitness. It is cost-effective in the long-term from a societal perspective. This study provides important evidence for policy-makers and workplaces regarding allocation of resources to reduce workplace sitting. Source: Gao, L., Flego, A., Dunstan, D. W., Winkler, E. A., Healy, G. N., Eakin, E. G., ... et Wiesner, G. H. (2018). Scandinavian journal of work, environment &...
Effects of standing on typing task performance and upper limb discomfort, vascular and muscular indicators
Standing is a popular alternative to traditionally seated computer work. However, no studies have described how standing impacts both upper body muscular and vascular outcomes during a computer typing task. Twenty healthy adults completed two 90-min simulated work sessions, seated or standing. Upper limb discomfort, electromyography (EMG) from eight upper body muscles, typing performance and neck/shoulder and forearm blood flow were collected. Results showed significantly less upper body discomfort and higher typing speed during standing. Lower Trapezius EMG amplitude was higher during standing...
Visual and psychological stress during computer work in healthy, young females - physiological responses
Purpose: Among computer workers, visual complaints, and neck pain are highly prevalent. This study explores how occupational simulated stressors during computer work, like glare and psychosocial stress, affect physiological responses in young females with normal vision. Methods: The study was a within-subject laboratory experiment with a counterbalanced, repeated design. Forty-three females performed four 10-min computer-work sessions with different stress exposures: (1) minimal stress; (2) visual stress (direct glare); (3) psychological stress; and (4) combined visual and psychological stress...
Associations of office workers’ objectively assessed occupational sitting, standing and stepping time with musculoskeletal symptoms
We examined the association of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) with workplace sitting, standing and stepping time, as well as sitting and standing time accumulation (i.e. usual bout duration of these activities), measured objectively with the activPAL3 monitor. Using baseline data from the Stand Up Victoria trial (216 office workers, 14 workplaces), cross-sectional associations of occupational activities with self-reported MSS (low-back, upper and lower extremity symptoms in the last three months) were examined using probit regression, correcting for clustering and adjusting for confounders. Sitting...
Effects of work surface and task difficulty on neck-shoulder posture and trapezius activity during a simulated mouse task
Objectives. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the influence of the work surface and task difficulty on the head, upper back and upper arm postures and activity of the descending trapezius during a simulated mouse task. Methods. Healthy female university students (N = 15) were evaluated. The work surface was positioned at elbow height (EH) and above elbow height (AEH) and the task difficulty was set at low (LD) and high (HD) levels. The postures were recorded by inclinometers. Trapezius activity was normalized by the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). Results. Significantly...
A detailed description of the short-term musculoskeletal and cognitive effects of prolonged standing for office computer work
Due to concerns about excessive sedentary exposure for office workers, alternate work positions such as standing are being trialled. However, prolonged standing may have health and productivity impacts, which this study assessed. Twenty adult participants undertook two hours of laboratory-based standing computer work to investigate changes in discomfort and cognitive function, along with muscle fatigue, movement, lower limb swelling and mental state. Over time, discomfort increased in all body areas (total body IRR [95% confidence interval]: 1.47[1.36–1.59]). Sustained attention reaction...
Predicting Forearm Physical Exposures During Computer Work Using Self-Reports, Software-Recorded Computer Usage Patterns, and Anthropometric and Workstation Measurements
Objectives: Alternative techniques to assess physical exposures, such as prediction models, could facilitate more efficient epidemiological assessments in future large cohort studies examining physical exposures in relation to work-related musculoskeletal symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate two types of models that predict arm-wrist-hand physical exposures (i.e. muscle activity, wrist postures and kinematics, and keyboard and mouse forces) during computer use, which only differed with respect to the candidate predicting variables; (i) a full set of predicting variables, including self...
Z412-17 - Office ergonomics - An application standard for workplace ergonomics
This is the third edition of CSA Z412, Office ergonomics — An application standard for workplace ergonomics. It supersedes previous editions published as guidelines in 2000 and 1989 under the title Guideline on Office Ergonomics. The present edition includes updates to reflect new technology and work practices, and is now presented in the form of a standard rather than a guideline. The objective of this Standard is to apply ergonomics to enhance user health, safety, and well-being and to optimize system performance in order to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses or to reduce the severity...
The Effect of Intelligent Physical Exercise Training on Sickness Presenteeism and Absenteeism Among Office Workers
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of individually tailored intelligent physical exercise training (IPET) on presenteeism and absenteeism among office workers. Methods: In a 1-year randomized controlled trial (RCT), employees were allocated to a training group TG (N = 193) or control group CG (N = 194). TG received 1-hour high-intensity IPET once a week within working hours, and was recommended to perform 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (PA) 6 days a week during leisure-time. Results: An intention-to-treat analysis showed no effect on absenteeism,...
Relations between work and upper extremity musculoskeletal problems (UEMSP) and the moderating role of psychosocial work factors on the relation between computer work and UEMSP
Purpose: Computer work has been identified as a risk factor for upper extremity musculoskeletal problems (UEMSP). But few studies have investigated how psychosocial and organizational work factors affect this relation. Nor have gender differences in the relation between UEMSP and these work factors been studied. We sought to estimate: (1) the association between UEMSP and a range of physical, psychosocial and organizational work exposures, including the duration of computer work, and (2) the moderating effect of psychosocial work exposures on the relation between computer work and UEMSP. Methods...
Evaluating biomechanics of user-selected sitting and standing computer workstation
A standing computer workstation has now become a popular modern work place intervention to reduce sedentary behavior at work. However, user's interaction related to a standing computer workstation and its differences with a sitting workstation need to be understood to assist in developing recommendations for use and set up. The study compared the differences in upper extremity posture and muscle activity between user-selected sitting and standing workstation setups. Twenty participants (10 females, 10 males) volunteered for the study. 3-D posture, surface electromyography, and user-reported...
Pre-existing low-back symptoms impact adversely on sitting time reduction in office workers
Objectives: Initiatives to reduce office-workplace sitting are proliferating, but the impact of pre-existing musculoskeletal symptoms on their effectiveness has not been determined. We assessed the influence of musculoskeletal symptoms on the outcomes of a workplace sitting intervention. Methods: Baseline and 3-month data from a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a workplace sitting intervention (Stand Up Victoria; trial registration number ACTRN12611000742976) were used. Office workers (n = 231) from 14 work teams within one organisation were randomised (by worksite) to a multicomponent program...
Reducing Office Workers' Sitting Time at Work Using Sit-Stand Protocols
Results From a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial Objective: To examine the effects of different sit-stand protocols on work-time sitting and physical activity (PA) of office workers. Methods: Participants (n = 26, 77% women, mean age 42) were randomly allocated to usual sitting (control) or one of three sit-stand protocols (intervention) facilitated by height-adjustable workstations for a 4-week period between June and August 2015. Sitting, standing, and stepping time were assessed by inclinometry (activPAL); leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) by self-report. One-way analysis of covariance ...
Effects on musculoskeletal pain from “Take a Stand!”
A cluster-randomized controlled trial reducing sitting time among office workers The intervention in Take a Stand! was effective in reducing sitting time among office workers, additionally this study shows that pain in neck-shoulders was reduced after the 3-month intervention period. For other pain sites, there were no changes, but for total pain score there was a slight reduction. This is relevant as musculoskeletal pain is very common among office workers. Source: Danquah, I. H., Kloster, S., Holtermann, A., Aadahl, M., & Tolstrup, J. S. (2017). Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment &...
Integration of active pauses and pattern of muscular activity during computer work
Submaximal isometric muscle contractions have been reported to increase variability of muscle activation during computer work; however, other types of active contractions may be more beneficial. Our objective was to determine which type of active pause vs. rest is more efficient in changing muscle activity pattern during a computer task. Asymptomatic regular computer users performed a standardised 20-min computer task four times, integrating a different type of pause: sub-maximal isometric contraction, dynamic contraction, postural exercise and rest. Surface electromyographic (SEMG) activity was...
Guide aménagement d'un poste d'accueil
Ce guide de prévention vous aidera à concevoir un poste d’accueil sécuritaire et fonctionnel ou à corriger les déficiences d’un poste existant. Il propose une démarche d’aménagement d’un poste d’accueil en quatre étapes : l’analyse des besoins, l’élaboration d’un concept, l’élaboration des caractéris­tiques détaillées du poste et, finalement, la validation et le suivi. À chacune des étapes, l’implication des personnes qui travailleront...
Electromyographic analysis of relevant muscle groups during completion of computer tasks using different computer mouse positions
Background: We analyzed muscular activity for different computer mouse positions during the completion of a timed computer task and determined whether the different mouse positions could affect muscular activity, productivity and perceived fatigue. Methods: The subjects were nine healthy young men. Two mouse positions were studied: the distal position (DP), with the forearm rested on the desk; the proximal position (PP), with only the wrist rested on the desk. The subjects performed a 16-min task in each position. Surface electromyography data were recorded for the upper back and shoulder muscles...
Feasibility and acceptability of reducing workplace sitting time
A qualitative study with Australian office workers Office workers spend a large proportion of their working hours sitting. This may contribute to an increased risk of chronic disease and premature mortality. While there is growing interest in workplace interventions targeting prolonged sitting, few qualitative studies have explored workers' perceptions of reducing occupational sitting outside of an intervention context. This study explored barriers to reducing office workplace sitting, and the feasibility and acceptability of strategies targeting prolonged sitting in this context. Source: Hadgraft...
How Does Definition of Minimum Break Length Affect Objective Measures of Sitting Outcomes Among Office Workers?
BACKGROUND: Harmful health effects associated with sedentary behaviour may be attenuated by breaking up long periods of sitting by standing or walking. However, studies assess interruptions in sitting time differently, making comparisons between studies difficult. It has not previously been described how the definition of minimum break duration affects sitting outcomes. Therefore, the aim was to address how definitions of break length affect total sitting time, number of sit-to-stand transitions, prolonged sitting periods and time accumulated in prolonged sitting periods among office workers. METHODS...
Evaluating the low back biomechanics of three different office workstations: Seated, standing, and perching
The objective of this study was to evaluate how different workstations may influence physical behavior in office work through motion and how that may affect spinal loads and discomfort. Twenty subjects performed a typing task in three different workstations (seated, standing, and perching) for one hour each. Measures of postural transitions, spinal loads, discomfort, and task performance were assessed in order to understand the effects of workstation interaction over time. Results indicated that standing had the most amount of motion (6–8 shifts/min), followed by perching (3–7 shifts...
Effects of participatory ergonomic intervention on the development of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and disability in office employees using a computer
Objective: To evaluate the participatory ergonomic method on the development of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and disability in office employees. Methods: This study is a randomized controlled intervention study. It comprised 116 office workers using computers. Those in the intervention group were taught office ergonomics and the risk assessment method. Cox proportional hazards model and generalized estimating equations (GEEs) were used. Results: In the 10-month postintervention follow-up, the possibility of developing symptoms was 50.9%. According to multivariate analysis results,...
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