Objectives It is understood that visual display unit (VDU) workers complain of visual fatigue during or after work hours. The objective of the study is to conduct a cross-sectional health assessment for worker performing visual examination on electronic components.
Methods The 21 female workers performing visual examination on electronic component using microscopes in an electronic enterprise of Taiwan were the study population. The face to face questionnaire survey was conducted by the occupational health physician in 2011, and the content of questionnaire included demographic data, refractive disorders, subjective symptoms, and workplace risk factors related to visual health.
Results The mean age and years of employment of the study population were 31.5 and 2.9 years, respectively. The average period of visual examination was 10.5 hours per shift and poor work-rest schedule was noted. The average actual sleeping time was 6.8 hours per day. There were 36.4% and 31.8% workers needed to shift work and night work, respectively. 77.3% workers complained of visual symptoms. 90.9% workers had extra-ocular symptoms, and shoulder discomfort was the most common one of them (81.8%). The workers with refractive disorders had higher visual fatigue than no disorders (p < 0.05). The workers with shift or night work patterns had higher both visual and extra-ocular symptoms than non-shift or non-night (p < 0.05). The worker with visual fatigue had shorter average actual sleeping time than no visual fatigue (p < 0.05), and the visual fatigue could be a predictor to average actual sleeping time.
Conclusions Health surveillance for VDU workers should include not only visual fatigue, but also extra-ocular symptoms, especially in upper limb disorders, and sleep problems. Designing better work-rest schedule and ergonomic workplace may be the preventive strategies at this workplace. Future research with a longitudinal study design is needed to study the psychosocial stress, productivity effects after visual fatigue on VDU workers.
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