Office ergonomics training and a sit-stand workstation: effects on musculoskeletal and visual symptoms and performance of office workers

Appl Ergon. 2013 Jan;44(1):73-85. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 Jun 22.


Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) among office workers with intensive computer use is widespread and the prevalence of symptoms is growing. This randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of an office ergonomics training combined with a sit-stand workstation on musculoskeletal and visual discomfort, behaviors and performance. Participants performed a lab-based customer service job for 8 h per day, over 15 days and were assigned to: Ergonomics Trained (n = 11) or Minimally Trained (n = 11). The training consisted of: a 1.5-h interactive instruction, a sit/stand practice period, and ergonomic reminders. Ergonomics Trained participants experienced minimal musculoskeletal and visual discomfort across the 15 days, varied their postures, with significantly higher performance compared to the Minimally Trained group who had a significantly higher number of symptoms, suggesting that training plays a critical role. The ability to mitigate symptoms, change behaviors and enhance performance through training combined with a sit-stand workstation has implications for preventing discomforts in office workers.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel*
  • Asthenopia / etiology
  • Asthenopia / physiopathology*
  • Asthenopia / prevention & control
  • Ergonomics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • User-Computer Interface