The relationships between musculoskeletal symptoms and both video display terminal (VDT) use and occupational psychosocial stress were assessed among women office workers by self-administered questionnaires. Significantly increased odds ratios for neck or shoulder symptoms were observed for subjects who had ever used a VDT, had less job security, and had more stressful work during the 2 weeks prior to completion of the questionnaire. Significantly increased odds ratios for arm and hand symptoms were observed for subjects who had used a VDT for more than 6 years, reported a very crowded workplace, or reported very stressful work during the 2 weeks prior to completion of the questionnaire. Among current non-users, those who previously used VDTs were more likely to report upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms than those who had never used VDTs. This suggests that individuals with symptoms may be more likely to reduce their VDT usage, distorting results of cross-sectional studies.