The relationship among computer work, environmental design, and musculoskeletal and visual discomfort

examining the moderating role of supervisory relations and co-worker support

Michelle M. Robertson, Yueng-hsiang Huang, Nancy Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The prevalence of work-related upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and visual symptoms reported in the USA has increased dramatically during the past two decades. This study examined the factors of computer use, workspace design, psychosocial factors, and organizational ergonomics resources on musculoskeletal and visual discomfort and their impact on the safety and health of computer work employees. Methods: A large-scale, cross-sectional survey was administered to a US manufacturing company to investigate these relationships (n = 1259). Associations between these study variables were tested along with moderating effects framed within a conceptual model. Results: Significant relationships were found between computer use and psychosocial factors of co-worker support and supervisory relations with visual and musculoskeletal discomfort. Co-worker support was found to be significantly related to reports of eyestrain, headaches, and musculoskeletal discomfort. Supervisor relations partially moderated the relationship between workspace design satisfaction and visual and musculoskeletal discomfort. Conclusion: This study provides guidance for developing systematic, preventive measures and recommendations in designing office ergonomics interventions with the goal of reducing musculoskeletal and visual discomfort while enhancing office and computer workers’ performance and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-22
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume89
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Human Engineering
Asthenopia
Psychology
Safety
Vision Disorders
Upper Extremity
Headache
Cross-Sectional Studies
Health

Keywords

  • Co-worker support
  • Computer and office workers
  • Musculoskeletal and visual discomfort
  • Supervisory relations
  • Workspace design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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abstract = "Purpose: The prevalence of work-related upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and visual symptoms reported in the USA has increased dramatically during the past two decades. This study examined the factors of computer use, workspace design, psychosocial factors, and organizational ergonomics resources on musculoskeletal and visual discomfort and their impact on the safety and health of computer work employees. Methods: A large-scale, cross-sectional survey was administered to a US manufacturing company to investigate these relationships (n = 1259). Associations between these study variables were tested along with moderating effects framed within a conceptual model. Results: Significant relationships were found between computer use and psychosocial factors of co-worker support and supervisory relations with visual and musculoskeletal discomfort. Co-worker support was found to be significantly related to reports of eyestrain, headaches, and musculoskeletal discomfort. Supervisor relations partially moderated the relationship between workspace design satisfaction and visual and musculoskeletal discomfort. Conclusion: This study provides guidance for developing systematic, preventive measures and recommendations in designing office ergonomics interventions with the goal of reducing musculoskeletal and visual discomfort while enhancing office and computer workers’ performance and safety.",
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