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Title: The relationship between ergonomics of the office workstation and related musculoskeletal disorders in library administrative staff at the Durban University of Technology
Authors: Levy, Cherise Danielle 
Issue Date: 2018
Journal: Journal of applied physics 
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common health complaints in the working population and the advancement in technology is a big contributor. Many offices and work spaces have been revolutionised with technological advances, most notably through computer usage, which has become an integral part of life. Intensive use of computers has shown to result in MSDs. The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence of MSDs in a library setting at a University of Technology with the objectives of: determining the prevalence of MSDs in the library staff, to describe the workstations of the staff, and to describe any associations between the workstations and MSDs.
This was a cross sectional study at two libraries at a University of Technology with a sample of 59 library staff. The study involved a two part process in which an observational assessment of the library staff was conducted by the researcher with each staff member individually, followed by a questionnaire completed by each participant. The observational checklist was used as a means to assess the ergonomic environment of the library staff. The questionnaire included demographic information, pain-related questions, psychosocial questions, and perception-based questions regarding the participants’ work environment. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS (version 24), including descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistics included frequencies, measures of central tendency, and variance and measures of association for example chi-square, Cronbach’s alpha and correlation statistics.
The study indicated a prevalence of 96% for some kind of MSD. One out of every two participants had reported that the MSDs or pain interferes with their work. Certain risk factors were evident from the study, namely: inappropriate desk height, reaching for items in the work place, noise, inappropriate chairs and inadequate leg room. The most commonly reported MSDs related to neck (55.9%), shoulders/upper arm (55.9%), head (49.2%), and knees/legs (49.2%). The significant associations that were present included head and neck MSDs with noise and upper arm positioning in worker posture and hand pain.

Significant rates of MSDs were reported by the participants with half of them reporting that pain caused interference with their work and only a small portion of participants seeking treatment for these conditions. It would be beneficial for the library staff to become more aware of MSDs and their ergonomic environments both at work and privately and to take corrective action to better equip themselves to mitigate MSDs and seek treatment when needed.
Submitted in partial compliance with the requirements for the Master’s Degree in Technology: Chiropractic, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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