• Ergonomic intervention: its effect on working posture and musculoskeletal symptoms in female biomedical scientists.

      Kilroy, N; Dockrell, S; Physiotherapy Department, Tullamore General Hospital, Co. Offaly, Ireland. (2000)
      This study investigates the effect of ergonomic intervention on working posture and musculoskeletal symptoms in female biomedical scientists. The Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire (NMQ), body discomfort chart (BDC) and rapid upper-limb assessment (RULA) are the tools for assessment. The study was conducted in three phases: pre-intervention, intervention and post-intervention. Pre-intervention, 79% of subjects reported a three-month prevalence of symptoms, and these were reported more frequently by those working in haematology/transfusion. Analysis by RULA showed that the majority (59%) of postures had a grand score of four. A further 24% had scores of five or six. The highest frequency of poor postures was seen in haematology/transfusion. Intervention comprised physical workplace changes, a seminar, and advice on risk factors. In the post-intervention phase, baseline measurements were repeated. Reporting of three-month prevalence of symptoms had decreased to 54%, and reports of body discomfort also had decreased. The majority (64%) had a RULA grand score of three. No observed postures had scores of five or six. In conclusion, ergonomic intervention resulted in an improvement in working postures, and a decrease in the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and body discomfort. Analysis of findings indicate that RULA scores generally corresponded with reporting of symptoms (NMQ) and discomfort (BDC).