Video display terminal workstation improvement program: I. Baseline associations between musculoskeletal discomfort and ergonomic features of workstations

J Occup Environ Med. 2000 Aug;42(8):783-91. doi: 10.1097/00043764-200008000-00004.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Computer Terminals*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Data Collection
  • Ergonomics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Neck Pain / epidemiology
  • Neck Pain / etiology
  • Neck Pain / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Health
  • Odds Ratio
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Program Development
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution