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Does posture variation during computer use improve physical exposure of workers?: effects of using adjustable tables - sit/stand

Grant number: 12/24502-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2013
Effective date (End): February 28, 2017
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Ana Beatriz de Oliveira
Grantee:Dechristian França Barbieri
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):15/19504-4 - Does posture variation during computer use improve physical exposure of workers? - effects of using adjustable tables - sit/stand, BE.EP.DR

Abstract

The excessive computer use at work is associated with musculoskeletal disorders due to the low variation of muscle activity and movements. The introduction of breaks during the work has been investigated as a strategy to change this pattern. However, this form of intervention is inefficient. Alternatively, the manipulation of work by combining different tasks was investigated. The results were not strong enough to support the use of this strategy as an intervention. In order to promote variation in physical exposure, another possibility is the inclusion of a new task - real and productive. Accordingly, previous studies carried out in laboratory, investigated the effect of tables allowing sitting and standing position. They have found positive results. However, few studies have investigated the effect of these tables in real work settings. Moreover, the results of these studies are not conclusive. It is difficult to raise awareness of workers about the proper use of the tables, and the assessment tools vary across the studies. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effect of posture variation, from introducing tables with adjustable height, on physical exposure in workers having intense computer use. Thirty office workers from Universidade Federal de São Carlos will participate as volunteers. They will be divided into 2 groups. Group A (15 workers) will get the table and use the adjustment freely. Group B (15 workers) will get the tables adapted with an automatic and programmable control (50 minutes sitting, and 10 minutes standing). Both groups will receive a brief training on the importance of ergonomics and the ideal use of the tables. The assessment will be first based on the following questionnaires: Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, Need for Recovery Scale, and the perception of productivity. After fulfilling the questionnaires, physical exposure will be measured by means of surface electromyography (upper trapezius, wrist extensors and erector spinae - longissimus) and inclinometry (head, neck, shoulder and upper back movements) recordings. The distinction of tasks performed during the recording will be done through direct observation. These tasks will be classified according the following categories: computer and non-computer work in sitting or standing position at the workstation; standing non-computer work out the workstation, and pauses. All qualitative and quantitative evaluations will be performed before and after the use of the new tables. If data present normality and homoscedasticity, tested through Shapiro Wilk and Levene tests, respectively, the repeated measures ANOVA (and Tukey post-hoc test) will be applied to compare tasks. If assumptions were not accomplished, Friedman test (and Wilcoxon pot-hoc with Bonferroni correction) will be used instead. Non-paired t-Student test or Mann Whitney test will be used to compare groups. Alfa level will be set at 0.05. We intend to have data supporting the introduction of a new productive and realistic working task, effective in increasing physical exposure variation. It would comprise an option for the control and prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BARBIERI, DECHRISTIAN FRANCA; SRINIVASAN, DIVYA; MATHIASSEN, SVEND ERIK; OLIVEIRA, ANA BEATRIZ. Variation in upper extremity, neck and trunk postures when performing computer work at a sit-stand station. APPLIED ERGONOMICS, v. 75, p. 120-128, FEB 2019. Web of Science Citations: 3.
BARBIERI, DECHRISTIAN FRANCA; SRINIVASAN, DIVYA; MATHIASSEN, SVEND ERIK; OLIVEIRA, ANA BEATRIZ. Comparison of Sedentary Behaviors in Office Workers Using Sit-Stand Tables With and Without Semiautomated Position Changes. HUMAN FACTORS, v. 59, n. 5, p. 782-795, AUG 2017. Web of Science Citations: 7.
BARBIERI, DECHRISTIAN FRANCA; MATHIASSEN, SVEND ERIK; SRINIVASAN, DIVYA; DOS SANTOS, WILIAN MIRANDA; INOUE, ROBERTO SANTOS; GONCALVES SIQUEIRA, ADRIANO ALMEIDA; NOGUEIRA, HELEN CRISTINA; OLIVEIRA, ANA BEATRIZ. Sit-Stand Tables With Semi-Automated Position Changes: A New Interactive Approach for Reducing Sitting in Office Work. IISE TRANSACTIONS ON OCCUPATIONAL ERGONOMICS & HUMAN FACTORS, v. 5, n. 1, p. 39-46, 2017. Web of Science Citations: 5.

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