An Ounce of Discretion Is Worth a Pound of Wit - Ergonomics Is a Healthy Choice

Rehana Rehman, Rakhshaan Khan, Ambreen Surti, Hira Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective:The objective of the study was to identify the occurrence and outcome of low back ache amongst computer users and their relation to age, gender, occupation and duration of computer use.Materials and Methods:A self reported questionnaire tailored from Occupational Health and Safety Act of the Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada was used.Results:416 participants 55.5% males and 45% females using computers for a minimum of five years with age range 22 to 59 years belonged to different occupational groups. Consecutive hours of computer work was found to be associated with work related backache or discomfort in 27.4% (n = 114) participants (16.1% male, 11.3% female). Frequent short breaks improved backache (p value <0.001) in 93 (22.4%) participants (13.2% male, 9.2% female). No significant relation was observed with the duration of computer usage or usage per day; between the two genders or occupational groups. Backache had no significance within age groups.Conclusion:Our study identifies the occurrence of low back pain among those who are using computer for consecutive hours without breaks and the results suggest the need to create health awareness especially use of short breaks to minimize the risk and occurrence of low back pain. The result of this study can also be used to improve ergonomic design and standards.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere71891
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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