629 On – line ergonomic web assessments – a valuable, cost-effective tool for prevention of musculo-skeletal discomfort in global corporate offices

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Abstract

Introduction

Globally, it is vital to create office ergonomic awareness amongst corporate employees with emphasis on ergonomic arrangement of workstations, maintaining ideal work postures, optimising chair functions and performing desk stretches.Objective is to promote safer working by exploring cost-effective communication methods to achieve behaviour change.

Methods

Invitation was sent to all employees to take up on-line Nordic questionnaire, a screening tool for musculoskeletal symptoms, shared in local languages on 2 occasions – baseline and after 3 months in Unilever offices at Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. After completing, employee is guided to animation graphics and trained on correct postures and office ergonomics with animation graphics, n=203.Study is currently being undertaken in Pakistan and India (results to be shared subsequently).

Results

Approximately 10% employees had some musculoskeletal symptoms. 85% of the symptomatic had chronic musculoskeletal symptoms of 1 year duration. However, only 40% of these employees had ongoing symptoms at the time of evaluation (past 7 days). A subsequent 3 months evaluation after web-based intervention showed a significant 35% decline in ongoing symptoms. Behavioural interventions responsible for this decline were attributable to:

Results

70% employees could arrange their workstation ergonomically, as against 49% pre intervention.

Results

83% employees performing desk stretches as against 59% pre intervention.

Results

70% of the employees taking rest breaks as against 65% pre intervention.

Results

97% employees reported animation graphics were educative and motivating.

Discussion

The web – based evaluation appears to be an excellent, cost-effective method bringing about desired behaviour change in ideal work-posture maintenance. Hence, newer technology using web based animation graphics is a highly efficient tool to create office ergonomics awareness and has the potential to become a best practice in countries where language is a communication barrier and an on-site visit is not feasible.

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