Graduation Year

2016

Degree

Dr.PH.

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (Dr.PH.)

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Thomas J. Mason, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Thomas E. Bernard, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Anthony D. Banks, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven P. Mylnarek, Ph.D.

Keywords

adjustable workstations, Ergonomics

Abstract

Workplace interventions to reduce discomfort and sedentary time have been studied in a variety of settings. Adjustable workstations are one type of ergonomic intervention that is used to potentially reduce occupational sitting time, negative health impacts, and to increase productivity. This investigation compared two types of ergonomic interventions, as well as contrasting behavioral interventions among workers with and without adjustable workstations. Seventy-two sedentary office workers were selected to participate in a longitudinal study to evaluate interventions for a reduction in occupational sitting time, to understand the effect on productivity and to evaluate musculoskeletal pain and behaviors. Workers were randomly placed into four different intervention groups and observed over 14 weeks. Group assignments were: control group, employees trained on behavioral interventions, employees given adjustable workstations and the final group had both ergonomic and behavioral interventions. During the study, there was a decrease in discomfort scores and fatigue for the adjustable workstation users. Standing time was increased in groups that had the adjustable workstations and frequency of workstation use remained constant throughout the 14 weeks. There was sufficient evidence to suggest that adjustable workstations will decrease sitting time and decease all over body discomfort in occupations that typically involve long hours of sitting. More research is needed to determine the health benefits of less occupational sitting.

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Public Health Commons

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