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Computer mouse use predicts acute pain but not prolonged or chronic pain in the neck and shoulder
  1. Johan Hviid Andersen (hecjha{at}
  1. Herning Hospital, Denmark
    1. Mette Harhoff (m.g.harhoff{at}
    1. Department of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Denmark
      1. Søren Grimstrup (sogr{at}
      1. Department of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Denmark
        1. Imogen Vilstrup (hecib{at}
        1. Herning Hospital, Denmark
          1. Christina Funch Lassen (funch{at}
          1. Glostrup hospital, Denmark
            1. Lars PA Brandt (lars.brandt{at}
            1. Odense Hospital, Denmark
              1. Ann I Kryger (akry{at}
              1. Glostrup Hospital, Denmark
                1. Erik Overgaard (erik.overgaard{at}
                1. Herning Hospital, Denmark
                  1. Kasper D Hansen (khansen{at}
                  1. University of California at Berkeley,, United States
                    1. Sigurd Mikkelsen (simi{at}
                    1. Glostrup Hospital, Denmark


                      Background: Computer use is one of the commonest work place exposures in modern society. An adverse effect on musculoskeletal outcomes has been claimed for decades, mainly on the basis of self reports of exposure. The purpose of this study was to assess the risk of neck and shoulder pain associated with objectively recorded professional computer use. Methods: A computer programme was used to collect data on mouse and keyboard usage and weekly reports of neck and shoulder pain for up to 52 weeks among 2146 technical assistants. Questionnaires were also completed at baseline and at 12 months. There were three outcome measures for each region 1) acute pain, measured as weekly pain, 2) prolonged pain, defined as participants with no or minor pain in the neck and shoulder region over 4 consecutive weeks followed by 3 consecutive weeks with a high pain score, and 3) chronic pain was defined as participants who reported pain or discomfort lasting more than 30 days and had experienced at least ‘quite a lot of trouble’ during the past 12 months. Results: Risk for acute neck pain and shoulder pain increased linearly by 4% and 10% respectively for each quartile increase in weekly mouse usage time. Mouse and keyboard usage time did not predict the onset of prolonged or chronic pain in the neck or shoulder. Women had higher risks for neck and shoulder pain. Number of keystrokes and mouse clicks, length of the average activity period, and micro pauses did not influence reports of acute or prolonged pain. A few psychosocial factors predicted the risk of prolonged pain. Conclusions: From the NUDATA-study we can conclude that most computer workers have no or minor neck and shoulder pain, few experience prolonged pain, and even fewer, chronic neck and shoulder pain.

                      • Computer work
                      • exposure assessment
                      • musculoskeletal pain
                      • neck and upper extremity

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