The impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion interventions on office worker productivity: A cluster-randomized trial

Michelle Pereira, Tracy Comans, Gisela Sjøgaard, Leon Straker, Markus Melloh, Shaun O'Leary, Xiaoqi Chen, Venerina Johnston

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Abstract

Objectives Using an employer's perspective, this study aimed to compare the immediate and longer-term impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion information on health-related productivity among a general population of office workers and those with neck pain. Methods A prospective one-year cluster randomized trial was conducted. Participants received an individualized workstation ergonomics intervention, combined with 12 weeks of either workplace neck-specific exercises or health promotion information. Health-related productivity at baseline, post-intervention and 12-months was measured with the Health and Work Performance Questionnaire. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed using multilevel mixed models. Results We recruited 763 office workers from 14 organizations and allocated them to 100 clusters. For the general population of office workers, monetized productivity loss at 12 months [AU$1464 (standard deviation [SD] 1318) versus AU$1563 (SD=1039); P=0.023]; and presenteeism at 12 months [2.0 (SD 1.2) versus 2.4 (SD 1.4); P=0.007] was lower in the exercise group compared to those in the health promotion information group. For office workers with neck pain, exercise participants had lower sickness absenteeism at 12 months compared to health promotion information participants [0.7 days (SD 1.0) versus 1.4 days (SD 3.1); P-=0.012], despite a short-term increase in sickness absenteeism post-intervention compared to baseline for the exercise group [1.2 days (SD 2.2) versus 0.6 days (SD 0.9); P<0.001]. Conclusion A workplace intervention combining ergonomics and neck-specific exercise offers possible benefits for sickness presenteeism and health-related productivity loss among a general population of office workers and sickness absenteeism for office workers with neck pain in the longer-term.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Volume45
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)42-52
ISSN0355-3140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Human Engineering
Ergonomics
Health Promotion
workplace
Workplace
Absenteeism
health promotion
ergonomics
Neck Pain
Productivity
productivity
Health
Efficiency
worker
absenteeism
illness
pain
Population
health
Intention to Treat Analysis

Keywords

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Efficiency
  • Ergonomics
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Health Promotion/methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neck Pain/therapy
  • Occupational Health
  • Presenteeism/statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work Performance
  • Workplace/statistics & numerical data

Cite this

Pereira, Michelle ; Comans, Tracy ; Sjøgaard, Gisela ; Straker, Leon ; Melloh, Markus ; O'Leary, Shaun ; Chen, Xiaoqi ; Johnston, Venerina. / The impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion interventions on office worker productivity : A cluster-randomized trial. In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2019 ; Vol. 45, No. 1. pp. 42-52.
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title = "The impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion interventions on office worker productivity: A cluster-randomized trial",
abstract = "Objectives Using an employer's perspective, this study aimed to compare the immediate and longer-term impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion information on health-related productivity among a general population of office workers and those with neck pain. Methods A prospective one-year cluster randomized trial was conducted. Participants received an individualized workstation ergonomics intervention, combined with 12 weeks of either workplace neck-specific exercises or health promotion information. Health-related productivity at baseline, post-intervention and 12-months was measured with the Health and Work Performance Questionnaire. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed using multilevel mixed models. Results We recruited 763 office workers from 14 organizations and allocated them to 100 clusters. For the general population of office workers, monetized productivity loss at 12 months [AU$1464 (standard deviation [SD] 1318) versus AU$1563 (SD=1039); P=0.023]; and presenteeism at 12 months [2.0 (SD 1.2) versus 2.4 (SD 1.4); P=0.007] was lower in the exercise group compared to those in the health promotion information group. For office workers with neck pain, exercise participants had lower sickness absenteeism at 12 months compared to health promotion information participants [0.7 days (SD 1.0) versus 1.4 days (SD 3.1); P-=0.012], despite a short-term increase in sickness absenteeism post-intervention compared to baseline for the exercise group [1.2 days (SD 2.2) versus 0.6 days (SD 0.9); P<0.001]. Conclusion A workplace intervention combining ergonomics and neck-specific exercise offers possible benefits for sickness presenteeism and health-related productivity loss among a general population of office workers and sickness absenteeism for office workers with neck pain in the longer-term.",
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author = "Michelle Pereira and Tracy Comans and Gisela Sj{\o}gaard and Leon Straker and Markus Melloh and Shaun O'Leary and Xiaoqi Chen and Venerina Johnston",
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The impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion interventions on office worker productivity : A cluster-randomized trial. / Pereira, Michelle; Comans, Tracy; Sjøgaard, Gisela; Straker, Leon; Melloh, Markus; O'Leary, Shaun; Chen, Xiaoqi; Johnston, Venerina.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2019, p. 42-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion interventions on office worker productivity

T2 - A cluster-randomized trial

AU - Pereira, Michelle

AU - Comans, Tracy

AU - Sjøgaard, Gisela

AU - Straker, Leon

AU - Melloh, Markus

AU - O'Leary, Shaun

AU - Chen, Xiaoqi

AU - Johnston, Venerina

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Objectives Using an employer's perspective, this study aimed to compare the immediate and longer-term impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion information on health-related productivity among a general population of office workers and those with neck pain. Methods A prospective one-year cluster randomized trial was conducted. Participants received an individualized workstation ergonomics intervention, combined with 12 weeks of either workplace neck-specific exercises or health promotion information. Health-related productivity at baseline, post-intervention and 12-months was measured with the Health and Work Performance Questionnaire. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed using multilevel mixed models. Results We recruited 763 office workers from 14 organizations and allocated them to 100 clusters. For the general population of office workers, monetized productivity loss at 12 months [AU$1464 (standard deviation [SD] 1318) versus AU$1563 (SD=1039); P=0.023]; and presenteeism at 12 months [2.0 (SD 1.2) versus 2.4 (SD 1.4); P=0.007] was lower in the exercise group compared to those in the health promotion information group. For office workers with neck pain, exercise participants had lower sickness absenteeism at 12 months compared to health promotion information participants [0.7 days (SD 1.0) versus 1.4 days (SD 3.1); P-=0.012], despite a short-term increase in sickness absenteeism post-intervention compared to baseline for the exercise group [1.2 days (SD 2.2) versus 0.6 days (SD 0.9); P<0.001]. Conclusion A workplace intervention combining ergonomics and neck-specific exercise offers possible benefits for sickness presenteeism and health-related productivity loss among a general population of office workers and sickness absenteeism for office workers with neck pain in the longer-term.

AB - Objectives Using an employer's perspective, this study aimed to compare the immediate and longer-term impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion information on health-related productivity among a general population of office workers and those with neck pain. Methods A prospective one-year cluster randomized trial was conducted. Participants received an individualized workstation ergonomics intervention, combined with 12 weeks of either workplace neck-specific exercises or health promotion information. Health-related productivity at baseline, post-intervention and 12-months was measured with the Health and Work Performance Questionnaire. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed using multilevel mixed models. Results We recruited 763 office workers from 14 organizations and allocated them to 100 clusters. For the general population of office workers, monetized productivity loss at 12 months [AU$1464 (standard deviation [SD] 1318) versus AU$1563 (SD=1039); P=0.023]; and presenteeism at 12 months [2.0 (SD 1.2) versus 2.4 (SD 1.4); P=0.007] was lower in the exercise group compared to those in the health promotion information group. For office workers with neck pain, exercise participants had lower sickness absenteeism at 12 months compared to health promotion information participants [0.7 days (SD 1.0) versus 1.4 days (SD 3.1); P-=0.012], despite a short-term increase in sickness absenteeism post-intervention compared to baseline for the exercise group [1.2 days (SD 2.2) versus 0.6 days (SD 0.9); P<0.001]. Conclusion A workplace intervention combining ergonomics and neck-specific exercise offers possible benefits for sickness presenteeism and health-related productivity loss among a general population of office workers and sickness absenteeism for office workers with neck pain in the longer-term.

KW - Absenteeism

KW - Adult

KW - Australia

KW - Efficiency

KW - Ergonomics

KW - Exercise Therapy

KW - Female

KW - Health Promotion/methods

KW - Humans

KW - Male

KW - Neck Pain/therapy

KW - Occupational Health

KW - Presenteeism/statistics & numerical data

KW - Surveys and Questionnaires

KW - Work Performance

KW - Workplace/statistics & numerical data

U2 - 10.5271/sjweh.3760

DO - 10.5271/sjweh.3760

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 30132008

VL - 45

SP - 42

EP - 52

JO - Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health

JF - Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health

SN - 0355-3140

IS - 1

ER -