Diversity of tasks and information technologies used by office workers at and away from work
Background. Computer use is associated with musculoskeletal complaints among office workers. Insufficient exposure diversity between tasks is a proposed etiological factor, but little information exists on diversity of tasks and information and communication technologies (ICT)
among office workers. Method. Direct observation and self-report data were collected on tasks performed and ICT used among 24 office workers, over 12 h in work and non-work environments. Self-reports were repeated on four additional days. Results. Observations were for a
mean [SD] 642 min. Productive tasks comprised 63% of observations, instrumental 17%, self-care 12% and leisure 8%. Non-ICT tasks comprised 44% of observations; New electronic-based ICT 36%; Old paper-based ICT 15%, and Combined ICT tasks 4%. Proportions
of tasks and ICT use differed between environments and days. Conclusion. Information about diversity in tasks and ICT provides the basis for future investigations into exposure variation in ICT-intensive environments and possible musculoskeletal health risks.
Statement of relevance:
Information and communication technologies (ICT) provide office workers access to perform work-related tasks after work hours and in away-from-work locations. Musculoskeletal disorder risk assessment for office workers should account for actual tasks performed over a work day, including away
from work exposures. This study provides rich, detailed data on occurrence of tasks performed and ICT used by office workers throughout the day.
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Document Type: Research Article
School of Occupational Therapy & Social Work, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
School of Physiotherapy, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences,Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Sweden
Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
November 1, 2011
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