Self reported musculoskeletal problems amongst typist and possible risk factors

J Hum Ergol (Tokyo). 1993 Dec;22(2):83-93.


A telephone interview was conducted to explore the occupational musculoskeletal problems and potential risk factors among typists in a government department. Of the 330 typists, 170 (51.5%) were interviewed; all of them were female with about 84% in their twenties and thirties. Local fatigue and musculoskeletal pain were found to be quite prevalent among typists. More than 50% of the typists had local fatigue affecting the shoulders, neck, back and fingers (in order of decreasing frequency), and most of these occurred within 1-2 h of continuous typing. Among the musculoskeletal problems, low back pain was the most common (53%), followed by neck pain (50%), arm pain (27.6%) and finger pain (27.6%). Univariate analyses showed that poor matching of desk height with chair height was found to be related to low back pain, neck pain and arm pain; it was also related to local fatigue of the shoulder and neck regions. Fatigue and pain at the lower back were related to bending of the back at work. Finger pain and arm pain were related to the period of time which they had worked as a typist. Multivariate analyses were done with logistic regression to sort out the relative influence on the outcome of the different risk factors adjusted for age and for each other.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Man-Machine Systems
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / complications*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / complications*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires