Association between duration of daily VDT use and subjective symptoms

Am J Ind Med. 2002 Nov;42(5):421-6. doi: 10.1002/ajim.10133.


Background: Although visual display terminal (VDT) work has become a common task among office workers, surveys which would help to determine the allowable duration of daily VDT use are limited.

Methods: We investigated more than 25,000 workers three times over a 3-year period using a self-administered questionnaire. Three factors, namely mental, physical and sleep-related symptoms, were extracted by factor analysis. Adjusted means of each factor score were compared with the duration of daily VDT use by general linear model.

Results: Physical symptoms score became higher with increasing duration of daily VDT use without a threshold effect. Mental and sleep-related symptom scores of the workers using VDT for more 5 hr/day were significantly higher than that of the groups using VDT for >1, 1-3, and 3-5 hr/day.

Conclusions: Duration of daily VDT use was linearly related to the physical symptom score, and was non-linearly related to mental and sleep-related symptom score with a threshold effect of 5 hr/day.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Asthenopia / etiology
  • Computer Terminals*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / complications*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors