Self-reported reduced productivity due to musculoskeletal symptoms: associations with workplace and individual factors among white-collar computer users

J Occup Rehabil. 2002 Sep;12(3):151-62. doi: 10.1023/a:1016890527520.


The aim was to assess whether self-reported reduced productivity occurred in computer users due to musculoskeletal symptoms and the association to workplace, symptom, and individual factors. The study group consisted of 1283 computer users from different occupations, of whom 498 were men and 785 were women. Reduced productivity was self-assessed by two questions addressing if and how much productivity was reduced the previous month due to musculoskeletal symptoms. There were 63 women (8.0%) and 42 men (8.4%) of the total study group who reported reduced productivity due to musculoskeletal symptoms. The mean magnitude of the reduction was 15% for women and 13% for men. This outcome was weakly associated with computer mouse position and task and symptom persistence for both men and women. For women, work demands, computer problems, and being divorced/separated were also associated with reduced productivity. Although limited by problems of subjectivity of self-report and the possibility of significant underreporting, these results suggest that a variety of interventions may serve to decrease the impact of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Efficiency*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Task Performance and Analysis