A randomised controlled trial on whether a participatory ergonomics intervention could prevent musculoskeletal disorders

Haukka, E.; Leino-Arjas, P.; Viikari-Juntura, E.; Takala, E-P.; Malmivaara, A.; Hopsu, L.; Mutanen, P.; Ketola, A.; Virtanen, I.; Pehkonen, I.; Holtari-Leino, M.; Nykänen, J.; Stenholm, S.; Nykyri, E.; Riihimäki, H.
December 2008
Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Dec2008, Vol. 65 Issue 12, p849
Academic Journal
Objectives: To examine the efficacy of a participatory ergonomics intervention in preventing musculoskeletal disorders among kitchen workers. Participatory ergonomics is commonly recommended to reduce musculoskeletal disorders, but evidence for its effectiveness is sparse. Methods: A cluster randomised controlled trial among the 504 workers of 119 kitchens in Finland was conducted during 2002-2005. Kitchens were randomised to an intervention (n = 59) and control )n = 60) group. The duration of the intervention that guided the workers to identify strenuous work tasks and to seek solutions for decreasing physical and mental workload, was 11 to 14 months. In total, 402 ergonomic changes were implemented. The main outcome measures were the occurrence of and trouble caused by musculoskeletal pain in seven anatomical sites, local fatigue after work, and sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders. Individual level data were collected by a questionnaire at baseline and every 3 months during the intervention and 1-year follow-up period. All response rates exceeded 92%. Results: No systematic differences in any outcome variable were found between the intervention and control groups during the intervention or during the 1-year follow-up. Conclusions: The intervention did not reduce perceived physical work load and no evidence was found for the efficacy of the intervention in preventing musculoskeletal disorders among kitchen workers. It may be that a more comprehensive redesign of work organisation and processes is needed, taking more account of workers' physical and mental resources.


Related Articles

  • Curing public ills. Hamilton, Sally // Employee Benefits;Nov2008, Special section p27 

    The article points out that employers can minimize the costs associated with attempts to reduce sickness absence in the public sector. Wellness and health benefits play an important role in minimizing absences due to sickness. Low-cost initiatives include such benefits as employee assistance...

  • Leave act leaving a paper trial. Moriarty, Gisela // Crain's New York Business;6/17/96, Vol. 12 Issue 25, p32 

    Focuses on hidden costs of the United States Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Comments Southwest Airlines vice president Libby Sartain; Administrative burdens to employers; Track of paid time in centralized payroll systems.

  • Family matters now mean business. Tufano, Paul A. // Management Review;Aug93, Vol. 82 Issue 8, p45 

    Discusses the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and its implications to employers and employees. Provisions; Definition of the term `employer'; Employee's eligibility for protection; Certification for a serious health condition; Employer's option of requiring a second certification in case...

  • Study: GERD has big impact on productivity.  // Case Management Advisor;Aug2008, Vol. 19 Issue 8, p95 

    The article focuses on the study about the impact of gastroesophegal reflux disease (GERD) in employees' productivity in the U.S. Results show that employees with GERD were much less productive, thus, requires better management and treatment. Nathan L. Kleinman, one of the study's authors,...

  • Construction & Validation of Employee Wellness Questionnaire. Sulphey, M. M. // Indian Journal of Industrial Relations;Apr2014, Vol. 49 Issue 4, p690 

    Employee wellness is a poorly defined concept. It has as many numbers of definitions as the number of experts who have attempted to define it. A wide range of dimensions has been seen used in various tools to measure employee wellness. This study has developed a short scale to assess employee...

  • How can employers support persistently unwell employees? Barrett, Sam // Employee Benefits;11/12/2014, p1 

    The article offers some suggestions for employers to support health and wellbeing of employees to boost their work performance. Topics discussed include raising health awareness among employees and reducing the risk of poor health choices, making reasonable adjustments for unwell employees and...

  • WHY WELLNESS PROGRAMS FAIL. LEWIS, DEBORAH // Financial Executive;Mar/Apr95, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p26 

    The article discusses elements of a successful corporate wellness program. Although firms often regard such programs as discretionary frills that provide little economic benefit, studies indicate every $1 spent on wellness can return between $2 and $6. To realize these gains a company can take...

  • BEST DEALERSHIPS TO WORK FOR: Crevier BMW. LaReau, Jamie // Automotive News;10/22/2012, Vol. 87 Issue 6539, p8 

    The article offers information on the automotive dealer Crevier BMW, whose main goal is to keep employees healthy. Al Parajeckas, general manager of Crevier BMW, states that happy and healthy employees have ample energy and are more productive. It is stated that the dealers offers free...

  • Building Market Share via an Employer Worksite Wellness Program. Titus, Ford; Ross, Henry // Strategic Financial Planning;Fall2010, p11 

    The article focuses on the occupational medicine program offered by ProHealth Care Inc. which creates expanded market share through the development of a worksite wellness program for employers in the U.S. It provides details on how the program works by collaborating with local employers who are...


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics