Health effects of 'the Paperless Office' - evaluations of the introduction of electronic document handling systems
Electronic document handling (EDH) systems can result in increased risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and stress-related mental and somatic symptoms. The effects of introducing an EDH system on the physical and psychosocial work environment, and on self-reported health, were studied in two studies at eight Swedish work places. In the first study data were collected on three occasions: before and 6 and 18 months after the introduction of the EDH system. In the second study data were collected 5 months after the introduction. The methods used were interviews, observations, questionnaires, video recordings, technical measurements and expert observation and examination. The results showed an important increase in time spent at a computer after introduction of the EDH system. The findings indicated (a) an increase in workload, (b) participants felt more constrained and controlled, (c) a higher frequency in static work postures, (d) frequent problems with handling the computer system and (e) an increase in health symptoms.
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