Office ergonomics education: a comparison of traditional and participatory methods

Work. 2002;19(2):185-91.


Health and safety literature stresses the value of programs aimed at preventing musculoskeletal injuries. The concepts of empowerment learning are often recommended as guidelines for worker education yet these approaches are largely untested. The present study compares the traditional approach involving lecture and discussion with a participatory method. A sample of 102 participants employed at a centralized reservation facility was used. Participants were randomly assigned to either the traditional education group or the participatory education group. Data collection utilized surveys completed by study participants and observational checklists completed by a trained observer. Data were collected prior to intervention and at approximately 3, 6, and 12 months post intervention. Results of data analysis provide no evidence that participatory methods are more effective than traditional methods in encouraging workers to position their work equipment correctly or to maintain good working postures to prevent musculoskeletal injuries.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Ergonomics*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Posture
  • Surveys and Questionnaires