Reducing musculoskeletal disorders among computer operators: comparison between ergonomics interventions at the workplace

Ergonomics. 2012;55(12):1571-85. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2012.726654. Epub 2012 Oct 5.


Typing is associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by multiple risk factors. This control study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a workplace intervention for reducing MSDs among computer workers. Sixty-six subjects with and without MSD were assigned consecutively to one of three groups: ergonomics intervention (work site and body posture adjustments, muscle activity training and exercises) accompanied with biofeedback training, the same ergonomics intervention without biofeedback and a control group. Evaluation of MSDs, body posture, psychosocial status, upper extremity (UE) kinematics and muscle surface electromyography were carried out before and after the intervention in the workplace and the motion lab. Our main hypothesis that significant differences in the reduction of MSDs will exist between subjects in the study groups and controls was confirmed (χ(2) = 13.3; p = 0.001). Significant changes were found in UE kinematics and posture as well. Both ergonomics interventions effectively reduced MSD and improved body posture.

Practitioner summary: This study aimed to test the efficacy of an individual workplace intervention programme among computer workers by evaluating musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), body posture, upper extremity kinematics, muscle activity and psychosocial factors were tested. The proposed ergonomics interventions effectively reduced MSDs and improved body posture.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Ergonomics / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / therapy
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy
  • Posture
  • Upper Extremity
  • Workplace
  • Young Adult