Work with visual display units and musculoskeletal disorders: A cross-sectional study
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Provincial Agency for Health Services of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Trento, Italy (Department of Prevention, Occupational Health and Safety Unit)
University of Parma, Parma, Italy (School of Nursing Sciences, Department of Clinical Surgery, General Surgery and Surgical Therapy)
University of Parma, Parma, Italy (School of Medicine and Surgery, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine)
University of Parma, Parma, Italy (Specialization School in Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Biomedical, Biotechnological and Translational Sciences)
Online publication date: 2016-12-01
Corresponding author
Matteo Riccò   

Provincial Agency for Health Services of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Department of Prevention, Occupational Health and Safety Unit, Via Verona SNC, C/O Centro Servizi Sanitari, 38123 Trento, Italy
Med Pr Work Health Saf. 2016;67(6):707-19
Background: Epidemiological studies have shown that employees working with visual display units (VDU) are more likely to complain about musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The aim of this study has been to evaluate associations among MSDs and individuals and work-related factors. Material and Methods: A total of 1032 VDU workers were assessed about their personal (i.e., age, working history, smoking history, physical activity) and work-related factors (i.e., predominant job tasks performed, work posture). Work environment was evaluated regarding fulfillment of the standard ISO 9241-5:1998. The investigation required a direct observation of participants (in order to accurately assess the prevalence of MSDs) and workstations. Adjusted odds ratios (ORa) were calculated by means of the logistic regression model. Results: Prevalence of MSDs was relatively high (53%). In general, MSDs were significantly associated with female sex (OR = 2.832, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.178–3.683), age ≥ 50 years old (OR = 2.231, 95% CI: 1.236–4.026), longer exposure to VDU, both as working history (10–14 years: OR = 1.934, 95% CI: 1.301–2.875; ≥ 15 years: OR = 2.223, 95% CI: 1.510–3.271) and working time (30–39 h/week: OR = 1.537, 95% CI: 1.087–2.273). Inappropriate workstation design was confirmed by the multivariate analysis as a risk factor for MSDs (ORa = 2.375, 95% CI: 1.124–5.018). Conclusions: Musculoskeletal disorders were significantly associated with individual factors as well as characteristics of work environment. An appropriate design of workstations may significantly reduce their prevalence amongst VDU workers. Med Pr 2016;67(6):707–719
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