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Variation in Muscle Activity Among Office Workers When Using Different Information Technologies at Work and Away From Work
Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1443-6211
Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
2013 (English)In: Human Factors, ISSN 0018-7208, E-ISSN 1547-8181, Vol. 55, no 5, 911-923 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To determine differences in muscle activity amplitudes and variation of amplitudes, when using different Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Background: Office workers use different ICT to perform tasks. Upper body musculoskeletal complaints are frequently reported by this occupational group. Increased muscle activity and insufficient muscle activity variation are potential risk factors for musculoskeletal complaints.

Method: Muscle activity of right and left upper trapezius and right wrist extensor muscle bundle (extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis) of 24 office workers (performing their usual tasks requiring different ICT at work and away-from-work) were measured continuously over 10-12 hours. Muscle activity variation was quantified using two indices, APDF(90-10) and EVAsd.

Results: There was a trend for electronics-based New ICT tasks to involve less electromyography (EMG) variation than paper-based Old ICT tasks. Performing Combined ICT tasks (i.e. using paper- and electronics-based ICT simultaneously) resulted in the highest muscle activity levels and least variation; however, these Combined ICT tasks were rarely performed. Tasks involving no ICT (Non-ICT) had the greatest muscle activity variation.

Conclusion: Office workers in this study used various ICT during tasks at work and away-from-work. The high EMG amplitudes and low variation observed when using Combined ICT may present the greatest risk for musculoskeletal complaints, and use of Combined ICT by workers should be kept low in office work. Breaking up Combined, New and Old ICT tasks; for example, by interspersing highly variable Non-ICT tasks into office workers’ daily tasks, could increase overall muscle activity variation and reduce risk for musculoskeletal complaints.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 55, no 5, 911-923 p.
Keyword [en]
electromyography, exposure variation, quantification, ICT
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-9841DOI: 10.1177/0018720813485788ISI: 000324831400003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84884682132OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-9841DiVA: diva2:433975
Available from: 2011-08-12 Created: 2011-08-12 Last updated: 2014-11-11Bibliographically approved

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