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Visually deficient working conditions and reduced work performance in office workers: Is it mediated by visual well-being and health?
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7680-1929
School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney, Australia; Jennifer Long Visual Ergonomics, Katoomba, NSW, Australia.
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, ISSN 0169-8141, E-ISSN 1872-8219, Vol. 72, p. 128-136Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The main purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether visual well-being and health act as a mediating factor between perceived visual ergonomic working conditions and self-rated visual performance among office workers who perform administrative tasks and computer-based work at the Swedish Tax Agency.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent to 94 office workers addressing: 1) perceived visual quality of the visual display units; 2) prevalence of eye symptoms; and 3) self-rated visual performance. Eighty-six persons (54 women (63 %), 31 men (36 %), and 1 of unspecified sex) answered the questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis investigated the association between visual ergonomic working conditions and visual performance, with and without visual well-being and health as a mediator.

Results: The group mean of the Indexed survey questions indicated reasonably good quality visual ergonomic working conditions, a relative absence of eye symptoms, and acceptable self-rated visual performance. Results from multiple regression analysis showed a significant association between perceived visual ergonomic working conditions and self-rated visual performance (r2 = 0.30, β = 0.327, p < 0.01). When visual well-being and health was used as a mediator, the association between perceived visual ergonomic working conditions and self-rated visual performance remained the same (r2 = 0.32, β = 0.315, p < 0.01).

Discussion: It was surprising to discover that self-rated visual performance  was independent of visual health and well-being. Possible explanations include exposure factors not included in the current study, such as dry air and sensory irritation in eyes, psychosocial stress, time spent performing near work activities or time exposed to visually deficient working conditions. The strong connection between satisfaction with visual ergonomics work conditions and productivity found in this study has implications for workplace profitability and staff satisfaction. If productivity of office workers is improved by better visual ergonomics work conditions, then managers within workplaces may be able to improve work outcomes by optimizing the physical work environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 72, p. 128-136
Keywords [en]
Performance, well-being, mediation analysis, visual ergonomics
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-28658DOI: 10.1016/j.ergon.2019.05.007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85065788410OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-28658DiVA, id: diva2:1265748
Available from: 2018-11-26 Created: 2018-11-26 Last updated: 2019-08-20Bibliographically approved

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