Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Arthritis may be exacerbated by computer use

The effect of ergonomics on arthritis ...

"According to researchers in the United States using a computer can have an impact on those suffering from arthritis.

Even though computers have become increasingly common in daily life, little is known about how their use on a daily basis might affect those with arthritis; it is estimated that as many as 56% percent of the workforce use computers at work and 62% of households own one.

Arthritis is a leading cause of work disability, and those with the disease may have difficulty performing physically demanding jobs, and may opt for jobs that appear less strenuous but require intensive computer use.

Computer use is a known risk factor for pain and musculoskeletal disorders and arthritis sufferers are more at risk because of difficulties performing tasks due to pain, restricted movement, muscle weakness, or fatigue.

A new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh has examined this topic in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA) and fibromyalgia (FM).

The study involved 315 arthritis patients who completed a specially-designed survey that contained questions on computer use, discomfort experienced while using a chair, desk, keyboard, mouse and monitor, and problems associated with each piece of equipment.

The results showed that many people with arthritis experience both discomfort and problems that could lead to work limitations: 84% of respondents reported a problem with computer use attributed to their underlying disorder and 77% reported some discomfort related to computer use."    (Continued via News-Medical.net)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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