April/May 2017 (vol. 13/6)

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Research Plus

Neck pain risk factors

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 10 prospective cohort studies and two randomised controlled trials identified several statistically significant risk factors for the development of occupational neck pain among office workers – prolonged computer use was not among them. Risk factors included self-perceived muscular tension (medium tension: risk ratio (RR) = 2.75; 95% confidence internal (CI) 1.60–4.72; high tension: RR = 1.82; CI 1.14–2.90) (both strong evidence); low satisfaction/comfort with the workplace environment (RR = 1.28; CI 1.07–1.55) (strong evidence); positioning a computer keyboard close to the body (RR = 1.46; CI 1.07–1.99) (moderate-strength evidence); and low task variation (RR = 1.27; CI 1.08–1.50) (moderate). There were no associations for neck pain with longer duration of computer use (strong evidence), keyboard use (moderate) or mouse use (moderate/strong), less break time (moderate) or having the screen height above eye level (moderate). There was only limited evidence of no effect for a number of other physical factors, including mouse position, keyboard height, computer skills, keyboard-break software, break reminders and the use of chair armrests

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2017; online first: doi 10.1007/s00420-017-1205-3.


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2017 (vol. 13/6) pp39