Work-site health promotion of frequent computer users: comparing selected interventions
2013-01-01, Blasche, Gerhard, Pfeffer, Manuela, Thaler, Helga, Gollner, Erwin
OBJECTIVE: Frequent computer use is associated with an increase in musculoskeletal complaints. The present study aims at comparing the relative efficacy of three novel interventions for the preventions of musculoskeletal complaints in frequent computer users. PARTICIPANTS: 93 employees (56 woman, 37 men, mean age 40.1 ± 8.8 years) with frequent computer use. METHODS: Participants were assigned on the basis of preference to one of the following interventions of 8 week duration: Nordic Walking (NW), biofeedback assisted relaxation and stretching (BFB), balance exercises on a wobble board (BAL) or a waiting list control group. Outcome measures were musculoskeletal complaints, emotional well-being, fatigue, job dissatisfaction as well as neuromuscular activity in the neck/shoulder region at rest and during computer work assessed before and after the intervention and at 3 months follow-up. RESULTS: The average number of training-units per week was 2.2 ± 0.8, 5.5 ± 3.5 and 4.1 ± 2.9 for NW, BFB and BAL, respectively. NW led to short and medium term improvement of musculoskeletal complaints, BFB to a short term improvement of musculoskeletal complaints. Effects on the well-being related variables or on neuromuscular activity were not found. BAL had no effect on the studied variables. CONCLUSION: NW and to a limited extent BFB are interventions potentially useful for reducing musculoskeletal complaints in frequent computer users.