East African Medical Journal

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Ergonomics in the computer workstation

MJ Karoney, SK Mburu, DW Ndegwa, AG Nyaichowa, EB Odera


Background: Awareness of effects of long term use of computer and application of ergonomics in the computer workstation is important for preventing musculoskeletal disorders, eyestrain and psychosocial effects.
Objectives: To determine the awareness of ºphysical and psychological effects of prolonged computer usage and application of ergonomics in the workstation.
Design: One hundred and eighty one people were interviewed from tertiary educational institutions, telecommunications and media houses within Nairobi, Kenya.
Subjects: Descriptive cross sectional study.
Results: Majority (89.8%) of the respondents felt that prolonged computer use had an adverse effect on their health, with only 12.4% having received formal training on the same. Assessment of their workstations revealed the most applied ergonomic measure as feet placement on the floor: 100% (181) followed by correct monitor placement with 94.4% (171) fulfilling the requirements. The least applied ergonomic measures were
non reflecting wall paint: 5% (9) and adjustable desk 9.9% (18).
Conclusion: There is awareness among computer users on the effects of prolonged computer use but there is limited application of ergonomic measures.

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