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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The time spent on mobile phone during daytime is increasing with the rapid life-style in young population for different purposes such as texting, calling etc. and the younger population is more dependent on networking with them. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to compare joint repositioning error angle in the cervical region between groups with regard to their daily calling duration on smartphone and to determine the relationship between daily calling duration and potential cervical pain and disability. METHODS: Sixty-three university students were included in the study. Participants were divided concerning to their…durations of daily calling durations on smartphones. The joint-repositioning-error sense, craniovertebral angle, cervicothoracic muscle strength, and endurance of neck flexors were measured and potential pain and disability levels were assessed. RESULTS: University students who spending twenty minutes or more for calling on smartphone daily had significantly higher joint repositioning error sense. Additionally, it was determined that there was fair relationship between the daily calling time on smartphone and potential neck pain and disability. CONCLUSIONS: The prolonged calling duration on smartphone could affect cervical joint repositioning error sense in university students. This might be related to potential discomfort on cervical region in the further period.
Keywords: Proprioception, neck pain, smartphone, students
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can be prevented by avoiding trauma caused by poor posture, compression, force, and repetition. Neutral postures are recommended to avoid MSDs. OBJECTIVE: This study introduces Mouse With Your Arm™ (MWYA) methodology which promotes sitting back in a chair, using the chair’s armrest for forearm support at relaxed elbow height, matching surface and armrest height, and keeping the mouse on the surface edge. This position allows optimal task chair use, facilitates movement and neutral postures, avoids compression and contact stress, and is effective in mitigating MSDs. METHOD: MWYA was applied and measured in…the field for more 23 years providing over 3,500 individualized assessments to integrate a participant’s unique characteristics, reported health concerns, tasks, tools, and environment to achieve and sustain whole-body neutral and comfortable working postures. RESULTS: Previous research has consistently recommended use of forearm support by a desk, apparatus, or wrist rest, and resulted in non-neutral, static postures and measured health consequences. By using armrests for support, MWYA avoids the potential of MSDs as can be caused by these previously endorsed postures. CONCLUSION: By applying the five MWYA principles, computer users comprehend neutral posture and put forth the effort essential to creating healthy human computer relationships.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: One-handed lifting commonly occurs in the industry. Specific guidelines of proper heights during one-handed lifting could be valuable information to design or to assess the risk of work environment. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the maximum acceptable height and comfortable height during one-handed vertical lifting by gender, participant height, hand, and object weight. METHODS: Based on the psychophysical method, 72 males and 50 females, divided into four different height groups, determined their maximum acceptable and comfortable heights by each hand (left and right) and various object weights (1 kg, 3 kg, 5 kg, and…8 kg). RESULTS: Males revealed significantly greater maximum acceptable heights (males: 157 cm; females: 135 cm) and higher comfortable heights (males: 104 cm; females: 96 cm) compared to females. The participants’ heights, which hand was used to lift, and the object weight were significant factors in determining the maximum acceptable height for both males and females. The multiple linear regression model of the maximum acceptable height showed more robust predictive power (R2 = 0.55) compared to the comfortable height (R2 = 0.20) as a function of gender, participant height, hand, and object weight. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that gender, participant height, hand, and object weight are important variables to consider when determining the proper surface height of one-handed vertical lifting. Using the robust predictive model, an appropriate maximum acceptable height could be suggested based on the material handler’s anthropometric information and object weight.
Keywords: One-handed lifting, psychophysics, maximum acceptable height, comfortable height
Abstract: BACKGROUND: As the Canadian population ages, there is a need to improve long-term care (LTC) services. An increased understanding of the positive work experiences of LTC staff may help attract more human health resources to LTC. OBJECTIVE: To describe the perceptions of the roles and work of nurses and care assistants in LTC from interprofessional perspectives. METHODS: This study used qualitative data collected from a larger mixed-methods study, Care by Design. The qualitative phase explored the lived experience of LTC staff from the perspectives of key stakeholders via focus groups and individual interviews. RESULTS:…One central theme that emerged from the study was that of LTC staff going “above and beyond” their clinical duties to care for residents. This above and beyond theme was categorized into subthemes including: 1. familial bonds between residents and staff; 2. staff spending additional time with residents; 3. the ability to provide comfort to family members; and 4. staff dedication during end-of-life care. CONCLUSIONS: The findings show that staff develop a kinship with residents, demonstrate respect towards residents’ families and provide comfort at the end-of-life. In emphasizing these themes of positive and fulfilling work, the present study provides insight into why staff work in LTC.
Keywords: Nursing home, licensed nursing staff, care aides, satisfaction, valuing
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Demand of the work environment can cause stress. Stress can cause anxiety, depression, reduced productivity, job dissatisfaction, and health issues. Unfortunately, little attention has been placed on the stressors of dental hygienists. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine occupational stressors related to personal, environmental, and physical stressors and their relationship to job satisfaction and burnout of dental hygienists. METHODS: Survey research was conducted with a convenience sample of practicing dental hygienists (n = 763). The survey instrument consisted of 10 scales from the New Brief Job Stress Questionnaire and four questions related to…burnout. RESULTS: Job satisfaction was affected by work overload, anxiety, depression, and emotional demands. Leaving clinical dental hygiene in the next year was affected by physical stress (p < 0.05), and burnout was related to the emotional demands (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Dental hygiene has a significant emotional component to the profession and these emotional demands were more likely to lead to burnout and affect job satisfaction. Physical demands were related to dental hygienists leaving clinical dental hygiene. Attention needs to be paid to these stressors to enhance retention and job satisfaction of dental hygienists.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Manual “picker-to-part” order picking takes place in a labour-intensive and time-consuming working environment where humans are the central actors and co-determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the process. Throughout Europe, work-related musculoskeletal disorders affect millions of workers, especially in the logistics sector, and cost employers billions of euros. OBJECTIVE: This paper studies how order pickers relate the use of technology as well as their relationship with the logistics company to their well-being, health and productivity. METHODS: To obtain data, a survey consisting of questions regarding work characteristics, health problems and the logistics company’s relationship with…employees was conducted in Poland, Slovenia and Croatia. RESULTS: Workers who carry most items manually experience more health problems than cart and forklift users. The most common complaint is lower back pain – only 6% of order pickers (n = 221) never experienced it. The use of barcode or RFID scanner/terminal/smart phone correlates with more health problems than the use of other technologies. Participation in the selection of transport means or in training on health preservation can reduce the perceived health problems. CONCLUSIONS: Workers’ perception of the impact of the applied technology on health and productivity can differ from the impact that is calculated or measured. Through their relationship with employees, logistics companies can influence employees’ perception of their health problems.
Keywords: Picker-to-part, productivity, human factors, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, technology
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Sedentary behavior has been recognized as an important risk factor in the development of several chronic diseases. Active workstations have been proposed as an effective countermeasure. While such interventions likely reduce sedentary time, concerns regarding the effects on work performance and cognitive function remain. OBJECTIVE: To use meta-analyis to critically evaluate the work performance and cognitive function effects of cycle and treadmill desks as workplace interventions against sedentary behavior. METHODS: In February 2018, a data search was conducted. Parallel and crossover design studies evaluating workplace interventions compared to conventional seated conditions were included.…RESULTS: Eighteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Both interventions reduced typing speed (cycling: SMD = –0.35, p = 0.04; treadmill: SMD = –0.8, p < 0.001). The number of typing errors significantly increased during cycling interventions (SMD = 0.39, p = 0.004). No effect was found for the selective attention tests. However, there was an improvement in recall ability (SMD = 0.68, p = 0.003). CONCLUSION: Cycle and treadmill desks affect work performance, but most likely not due to a decrease in cognitive function. Further research is needed to determine whether the degree of work performance decline is acceptable, considering the many positive effects of implementing active workstations in the office environment.
Keywords: Active workstation, bike desk, workplace cycling, workplace ergonomics, workplace intervention
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] countries, Australians with disabilities are most at risk of experiencing poverty. Employment equity is essential for wellbeing, health and social inclusion. Reported differences in income level between people with and without disabilities vary widely between 0 to 47% depending on productivity assumptions. Contradictory to these assumptions, empirical research has demonstrated that people with disabilities often have equivalent skills, superior loyalty and lower absentee rates. OBJECTIVE: To investigate if there is a significant difference in the annual remuneration, hours worked and age-related career trajectory of graduates with and without disabilities.…METHODS: Descriptive statistics and regression analysis were used to identify employment equity between graduates with and without disabilities in the 2011 Australian Census. RESULTS: Graduates with disabilities received a mean weekly income that was 53% of the income of graduates without disabilities and 85% of the mean hourly income. Female graduates with disabilities received the lowest mean income of all subgroups at 35% of the mean weekly income of male graduates without disabilities CONCLUSION: This corroborates previous research that reports people with disabilities have difficulty obtaining employment, experience insecure employment and have fewer career and promotional opportunities. The income gaps were significantly greater than gaps previously reported.
Keywords: Social inclusion, wage disparity, gender, indigeneity
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Dentistry is a profession where musculoskeletal disorders are prevalent. Physical demands and static awkward postures increase the risks of dentists developing musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, researchers have identified psychosocial factors that can influence the health of workers. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this research is to present self-reported pain regions and to assess psychosocial work factors as they relate to dentistry. METHOD: Fourteen dentists participated in the study. Data was collected via a questionnaire administered prior to the start of and during the study. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. RESULTS: All dentists…self-reported to be in good to excellent health and only 50% sought medical treatment for work-related discomfort and pain. Thirteen of 14 reported being at least occasionally mentally and physically exhausted after work. A musculoskeletal disorder–work hour relationship model was created. Feedback given was linked to four psychosocial factors –job demand, job control, social interactions, and job future and career issues. CONCLUSIONS: The dental profession is considered a highly cognitive profession where much attention has been placed on the physical demands due to awkward postures. While physical demands are validated, additional research will further validate the link between psychosocial and mental and physical demands.