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February/March 2010 (vol. 06/5)

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Research Plus

Upper extremity disorders, work and productivity

A randomised controlled trial found improvements in productivity for people with upper extremity disorders if they received an ergonomic assessment and intervention on top of medical care. A total of 177, largely female, workers with an upper extremity disorder were randomised into a control or intervention group. All participants were given ‘best current treatment’, with the intervention group also receiving a workplace assessment and intervention from an occupational physiotherapist. Interventions included modification of adverse work styles (posture, tool use, work pace and work organisation) and self-care advice. Self-reported productivity loss was significantly lower in the intervention group after 12 weeks.

Martimo K-P, Shiri R et al. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 2010; 36(1): 25–33.  http://www.sjweh.fi/show_abstract.php?abstract_id=2880

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2010 (vol. 06/5) pp41