Prevention of Computer Worker Health Disturbances Caused by Physical and Physiological Risk

Open access


This investigation was carried out in the frames of the Interreg 4A project “Workability and Social Inclusion” headed by the Arcada University of Applied Life. Tallinn University of Technology and Rīga Stradiņš University were involved in the project. A questionnaire based on the Nordic, WAI (Work Ability Index), and Kiva questionnaires was compiled to study psychosocial and physical working conditions at computer-equipped workplaces for 192 workers. The results showed that the computer workers assess their health status considerably high. They are optimistic in solving the problem that the monotonous work with computers will continue and believe that their health status in the future will stay at the same level using the steadily enhancing rehabilitation means. The most injured regions of the body were the right wrist and the neck. The novelty of the study consists in the graphical co-analysis of different groups of questions presented to the workers, which allows to assess the physiological and psychological factors in complex. The rehabilitation means have to be developed and the possibility for rehabilitation must be made available to the greatest possible number of workers. The workers were divided into two groups: Group A, the length of employment with computers under 10 years (included) and Group B, having been working with computers over 10 years. These groups were found to differ in the perception of psychosocial risk factors at the workplace. Group B assessments for psychosocial working conditions were better than those of group A. In group B, employees appeared to be more afraid of losing their jobs and therefore they were not so demanding for the work atmosphere as in group A.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Anonymous (2012). Annual Report of Working Environment. National Labour Inspectorate of Estonia. Available at: Accessed 13 January 2013.

  • Brauer C. Mikkelsen S. (2010). The influence of individual and contextual psychosocial work factors on the perception of the indoor environment at work: A multilevel analysis. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 83 639–651.

  • Brewer S. Van Eerd D. Amick B. C. Irvin E. Daum K. M. Gerr F. Moore J. S. Cullen K. Rempel D. (2006). Workplace interventions to prevent musculoskeletal and visual symptoms and disorders among computer users: A systematic review. J. Occup. Rehab.16 (3) 325–358.

  • Brisson C. Montreuil S. Punnett L. (1999) Effects of an ergonomic training program on workers with video display units. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health25 (3) 255–263.

  • Eltayeb S. Staal J. B. Kennes J. Lamberts H. G. P. A. de Bie R. A. (2007). Prevalence of complaints of arm neck and shoulder among computer office workers and psychometric evaluation of a risk factor questionnaire. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders8 (68) 1–11.

  • Feuerstein M. Nicholas R. A. Huang G. D. Dimberg L. Ali D. Rogers H. (2004). Job stress management and ergonomic intervention for work-related upper extremity symptoms. Appl. Ergon. 35 (6) 565–574.

  • Galinsky T. Swanson N. Sauter S. Dunkin R. Hurrell J. Schleifer L. (2007). Supplementary breaks and stretching exercises for data entry operators: A follow-up field study. Amer. J. Industr. Med. 50 (7) 519–527.

  • Gerr F. Marcus M. Monteilh C. Hannan L. Ortiz D. Kleinbaum D. (2005). A randomised controlled trial of postural interventions for prevention of musculoskeletal symptoms among computer users. Occup. Environ. Med. 62 (7) 478–487.

  • Ketola R. Toivonen R. Hakkanen M. Luukkonen R. Takala E. P. Viikari-Juntura E.; Expert Group in Ergonomics (2002). Effects of ergonomic intervention in work with video display units. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health.28 (1) 18–24.

  • Kulin J. Reaston M. R. (2011). Musculoskeletal disorders early diagnosis: A retrospective study in the occupational medicine setting. J. Occup. Med. Toxicol. 6 1–6.

  • Lindström K. Elo A.-L. Skogstad A. Dallner M. Gamberale F. Hottinen V. Knardahl S. Orhede E. (2000). General Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work. Nordic Council of Ministers Copenhagen.

  • Malinska M. Bugajska J. (2010). The influence of occupational and non-occupational factors on the prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints in users of portable computers. J. Occup. Safety Ergono. (JOSE)16 (3) 337–343.

  • Mclean L. Tingley M. Scott R. N. Rickards J. (2001). Computer terminal work and the benefit of microbreaks. Appl Ergon. 32 (3) 225–37.

  • Nag P. K. Pal S. Nag A. Vyas H. (2009). Influence of arm and wrist support on forearm and back muscle activity in computer keyboard operation. Applied Ergon. 40 (2) 286–291.

  • Näsman O. Metal Age and Kiva-questionnaire. Assist in navigation towards well-being at work. Mediona OyAb. The Archipelago Academy for Well-being at Work. Available at: Accessed 13 January 2013.

  • Oha K. Viljasoo V. Merisalu E. (2010). Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders assessment of parameters of muscle tone and health status among office workers. Agron. Res. 8 (1) 192–200.

  • Orsila R. Luukkaala T. Manka M.-L. Nygard C.-H. (2011). A new approach to measuring work-related well-being. Int. J. Occup. Safety Ergon. (JOSE) 17 (4) 341–359.

  • Panari C. Gugliemi D. Ricci A. Tabanelli M. C. Violante F. S. (2012). Assessing and improving health in the workplace: An integration of subjective and objective measures with the Stress Assessment and Research Toolkit (St.A.R.T.) method. J. Occup. Med. Toxicol.7 1–10.

  • Pillastrini P. Mugnai R. Franeti C. Bertozzi L. Bonfiglioli R. Curti S. Mattioli S. Violante F. S. (2007). Evaluation of two preventive interventions for reducing musculoskeletal complaints in operators of video display terminals. Phys Ther. 87 (5) 536–544.

  • Raja A. Tuulik V. Lossmann E. Meister A. (1996). Neural network approach to classify the functional state of CNS in case of neurotoxic diseases. Med. Biol. Eng. Comp.34 (suppl.1) 241–242.

  • Sjogren T. Nissen K. J. Jarvenpaa S. K. Ojanen M. T. Vanharanta H. Malkia E. A. (2005). Effects of a workplace physical exercise intervention on the intensity of headache and neck and shoulder symptoms and upper extremity muscular strength of office workers: A cluster randomized controlled cross-over trial. Pain116 (1–2) 119–128.

  • Šmite D. Ancane G. (2010). Psychosomatic aspects of chronic low back pain syndrome. Proc. Latvian Acad. Sci. Section B64 (5/6) 202–208.

  • Tanabe S. Nishihara N. (2004). Productivity and fatigue. Indoor Air14 (Suppl 7) 126–133.

  • Tint P. Traumann A. Pille V. Tuulik-Leisi V.-R. Tuulik V. (2011). Computer users’ health risks caused by the simultaneous influence of inadequate indoor climate and monotonous work. Agron. Res. Biosyst. Eng. 10 (1) 261–268.

  • Tuomi K. Ilmarinen J. Jahkola A. Katajarinne L. Tulkki A. (1998). Work Ability Index. Helsinki: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

  • Tuulik V.-R. Tuulik V. Pille V. Tamm M. Saarik S. Vare T. Tint P. (2013). Laser-Doppler perfusion monitoring myotonometry and workplace risk evaluation as assessment methods of musculoskeletal overuse syndromes in industry workers. J. Rehab. Med.45 976–977.

  • Van den Heuvel S. G. De Looze M. P. Hildebrandt V. H. The K. H. (2003). Effects of software programs stimulating regular breaks and exercises on work-related neck and upper-limb disorders. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health29 (2) 106–116

  • Vain A. Kums T. (2002). Criteria for preventing overtraining of the musculoskeletal system of gymnasts. Biol. Sport19 (4) 329–345.

  • Visnola D. Sprudza D. Bake M. A. Pike A. (2010). Effects of art therapy on stress and anxiety of employees. Proc. Latvian Acad. Sci.Section B 64 (1/2) 85–91.

  • Wagenaar A. F. Kompier M. A. J. Houtman I. L. D. van den Bossche S. N. J. Taris T.W. (2012). Employment contracts and health selection. Unhealthy employees out and healthy employees in? J. Occup. Environ. Manag. 54 (10) 1192–1200.

  • Zakerian S. A. Subramaniam I. D. (2009). The relationship between psychological work factors work stress and computer-related musculoskeletal discomforts among computer users in Malasia. Int. J. Occup. Safety Ergonomics (JOSE) 15 (4) 425–434.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.3

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.137
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.192

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 313 168 3
PDF Downloads 201 116 7