Prevalence and associated factors related to arm, neck and shoulder complaints in a selected sample of computer office workers

Document Type : Original Article


Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt


Background: Globally, there is an expansion in computer-related work, which may have contributed to an increased burden of complaints of the arm, neck and/or shoulder (CANS). The study was conducted to determine the prevalence and factors associated with CANS among computer office workers (OWs) in Alexandria.
Participants and Methods: Computer OWs at four banks and two telecommunication companies (n=211) were included in a cross-sectional study in 2016. Data were collected using the self-administered Musculoskeletal Upper Extremity Questionnaire-Arabic version. Potentially related factors were examined using bivariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: The sample comprised 95 (45.02%) males and 116 (54.97%) females. Overall, 72% aged 25–35 years. Prevalence with 95% confidence interval (CI) for CANS was 0.73 (95% CI: 0.66–0.79), 0.69 (95% CI: 0.62–0.75) and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.64–0.76), respectively. The majority of the complaints were minor (86%). Factors significantly associated with neck complaints were female sex (P=0.03), inappropriate office equipment (P=0.02), task complexity (P<0.01), break autonomy (P=0.02) and low decision authority (P=0.05). Factors significantly associated with arm/hand complaints were female sex (P=0.01), awkward body posture (P=0.05), break autonomy (P<0.01) and low break quality (P=0.04)
Conclusion: The study revealed high prevalence of CANS and highlighted associated factors, namely, task complexity, inappropriate office equipment, low decision authority, low break quality and female sex. Improving ergonomic conditions, reducing job demands, and increasing job control are crucial to reduce CANS among computer OWs.