Effectiveness of participatory ergonomic interventions on health outcomes: a systematic review

Appl Ergon. 2008 May;39(3):342-58. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2007.08.006. Epub 2007 Nov 7.


The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of participatory ergonomic (PE) interventions for improving workers' health. The search strategy targeted six electronic databases and identified 442 potential articles. Each article was examined by pairs of reviewers for relevance (assessed a participative ergonomic workplace intervention, with at least one health outcome, published in English in peer reviewed literature). Twenty-three articles met relevance criteria and were then appraised for methodological strength. Using a best evidence synthesis approach, 12 studies that were rated as 'medium' or higher provided partial to moderate evidence that PE interventions have a positive impact on: musculoskeletal symptoms, reducing injuries and workers' compensation claims, and a reduction in lost days from work or sickness absence. However, the magnitude of the effect requires more precise definition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Ergonomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health
  • Ontario
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Program Evaluation*