Objectives: This study investigated physical, psychological and social job characteristics as potential risk factors for complaints of the arms, neck and shoulders (CANS) and mediating effects of muscular tension and need for recovery. Methods: Data were collected among 105 computer workers using questionnaires and electromyography (EMG), and were analyzed with linear regression analyses. Results: Task interdependence, information processing and lower social support predicted more CANS. Physical job demands had no predictive power over and above psychological and social stressors. Both muscular tension and need for recovery partially mediated the job characteristics—CANS relationships. Conclusions: Occupational health professionals should not neglect psychological and social job characteristics as potentially important predictors of CANS in specific occupational groups, such as office workers. Our findings imply that CANS interventions should not be restricted to ergonomic improvements, but should be accompanied by improvement of the job design from a psychological and social perspective and reactive intervention aimed at decreasing short-term physical strain (muscular tension) and mental strain (need for recovery).

Additional Metadata
Keywords job design, muscle tension, musculoskeletal disorders, need for recovery, upper extremity, workplace
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/38324
Journal Journal of Occupational Health
Gawke, J.C.L, Gorgievski-Duijvesteijn, M.J, & van der Linden, D. (2012). Office Work and Complaints of the Arm, Neck and Shoulders: the Role of Job Characteristics, Muscular Tension and Need for Recovery. Journal of Occupational Health, 54(4), 323–330. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/38324