The role of at home workstation ergonomics and gender on musculoskeletal pain

Source avec lien : Work, 71(2). 10.3233/WOR-210692

L’objectif de cette étude était de décrire les postes de travail à domicile des employés universitaires et d’explorer si la conception du poste de travail à domicile joue un rôle médiateur dans l’effet du sexe sur la douleur musculo-squelettique.

BACKGROUND: The recent mandate for university faculty and staff to work-from-home (WFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic has forced employees to work with sub-optimal ergonomic workstations that may change their musculoskeletal discomfort and pain. As women report more work-related musculoskeletal discomfort (WMSD), this effect may be exacerbated in women. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe university employee at-home office workstations, and explore if at-home workstation design mediates the effect of gender on musculoskeletal pain. METHODS: University employees completed a survey that focused on the WFH environment, at home workstation design and musculoskeletal pain. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis were used to analyze the responses. RESULTS: 61% of respondents reported an increase in musculoskeletal pain, with the neck, shoulders and lower back being reported most frequently. Women reported significantly greater musculoskeletal pain, but this relationship was significantly mediated by poor ergonomic design of the home workstation. Improper seat-height and monitor distance were statistically associated with total-body WMSD. CONCLUSIONS: WFH has worsened employee musculoskeletal health and the ergonomic gap between women and men in the workspace has persisted in the WFH environment, with seat height and monitor distance being identified as significant predictors of discomfort/pain.

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