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Revista de la Universidad Industrial de Santander. Salud

Print version ISSN 0121-0807


REINHOLD, Karin et al. Prevention of MSDs and psychological stress at computer-equipped workplaces. Rev. Univ. Ind. Santander. Salud [online]. 2014, vol.46, n.3, pp.221-226. ISSN 0121-0807.

Introduction: The human body responds to stress-factors through four systems - central nervous, autonomic nervous, endocrine and immune - which are constantly interacting as a complex network. The main stress-factor at the computer-equipped workplaces is a poorly designed workplace, specifically the positioning of equipment on and around the workstation. The number of occupational diseases among office workers is the specific indicator of influencing of existing hazards and risk factors on the worker in the work environment. Objective: To find out the health disturbances and to make the suggestions for health promotion for computer workers. Methods: Over 400 computer workers' working conditions were measured with subsequent measuring equipment; the fatigue of muscles was measured with myometer; the investigation of the workers' opinion on working conditions based on Nordic, Work ability index (WAI) and Kiva questionnaire was carried out. The workers were divided into different groups by the age (A: under 40 years and B: over 40 years). This paper investigates the satisfaction of computer workers with their working conditions. Results: According to the results of Nordic and WAI questionnaires, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were observed by 53.6%; the cardiovascular disturbances by 20.4% and visual disturbances by 16.7% of the respondents in group A (under 40 years). In group B, MSDs were observed by 50.1%; cardiovascular disorders by 45.7% and visual disturbances by 23.2% of the respondents (over 40 years). Muscle and joint complaints were reported only by 19.7% of workers. The majority of the respondents declared the existence of two or more local pain points. Neck, shoulder, wrist and back pain were registered as the main complaints. Conclusions: The results of measurements of physical workplaces revealed that in some offices there are deficiencies in lighting, problems with stuffy air (high CO2 value) and low relative humidity value on cold season. As muscle strain is often coming from the static posture, it may be influenced also by the psycho-emotional stress at workplace. The questionnaires, objective methods and environmental measurements are useful to plan prevention and early rehabilitation before the disability appears.

Keywords : Musculoskeletal diseases; psychological stress; computer terminals; workplace.

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