Assessment of an evidence based postural support computer workstation checklist

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Kirby, Jonathan P.
Jorgensen, Michael J.
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Previous studies have shown that musculoskeletal discomfort can result from long duration of computer use with the following conditions: improper location of the keyboard and mouse, monitor too high, and a lack of forearm support from either the worksurface or chair armrests. The office workstation is best configured with the keyboard and mouse at or below elbow level, the monitor at or below horizontal eye level, and the forearms supported. An adjustable chair and workstation can also help achieve these layouts. Previous assessment methods have resulted in long checklists often including questions or assessments of characteristics that are not supported by scientific evidence. This research developed an evidence-based computer workstation checklist to assess both configuration and forearm support issues related to the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and chair. The goal of this research was to test this checklist's repeatability among different raters. A pilot study was performed with results that indicated a high percent of agreement (= 66%) among most of the raters and overall kappa coefficients ranging from 0.44 (moderate) to 1.00 (almost perfect agreement). Modifications to the checklist were made based on feedback from the raters. The main study had results with a high percent of agreement (= 70%) among many of the raters and kappa coefficients from 0.09 (slight) to 1.00 (almost perfect agreement). These kappa scores can likely be attributed to the rater's lack of ergonomic experience and training on the checklist. Even with these kappa coefficients there is still evidence of this checklist being a repeatable tool based on the high percent of agreement. This could suggest that this checklist can be used by multiple raters for assessing office workstation configuration and forearms support issues.

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Industrialand Manufacturing Engineering
Wichita State University
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