Associations of screen work with neck and upper extremity symptoms: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Pieter Coenen, Henk F van der Molen, Alex Burdorf, Maaike A Huysmans, Leon Straker, Monique Hw Frings-Dresen, Allard J van der Beek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: It has often been suggested that screen work (ie, work on desktop, laptop, notebook or tablet computers) is a risk factor for neck and upper extremity symptoms. However, an up-to-date overview and quantification of evidence are lacking. We aimed to systematically review the association of exposure to screen work with neck and upper extremity symptoms from prospective studies.

METHODS: An electronic database search (PubMed, Embase, Cinahl and Scopus) for prospective studies on the association of exposure to screen work and musculoskeletal symptoms was conducted. Studies were synthesised regarding extracted data and risk of bias, and meta-analyses were conducted.

RESULTS: After screening 3423 unique references, 19 articles from 12 studies (with 18 538 participants) were included for the current review, with the most recent exposure assessment reported in 2005. Studies described duration and input frequency of screen work (ie, computer, keyboard and mouse use, assessed using self-reports or software recordings) and musculoskeletal symptoms (ie, self-reported neck/shoulder and distal upper extremity symptoms and diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome [CTS]). Although there was overall an increased occurrence of musculoskeletal symptoms with larger exposure to screen work (relative risk: 1.11 [1.03 1.19]), findings were rather inconsistent with weaker (and statistically non-significant) risks when screen work was assessed by software recording (1.05 [0.91 1.21]) compared to with self-report (1.14 [1.03 1.19]).

CONCLUSIONS: We found an increased risk of musculoskeletal symptoms with screen work. However, the evidence is heterogeneous, and it is striking that it lacks information from contemporary screen work using laptop, notebook or tablet computers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume76
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Cite this

@article{d233e32ac0cf4a7a91634cb3c5cf5a64,
title = "Associations of screen work with neck and upper extremity symptoms: a systematic review with meta-analysis",
abstract = "OBJECTIVES: It has often been suggested that screen work (ie, work on desktop, laptop, notebook or tablet computers) is a risk factor for neck and upper extremity symptoms. However, an up-to-date overview and quantification of evidence are lacking. We aimed to systematically review the association of exposure to screen work with neck and upper extremity symptoms from prospective studies.METHODS: An electronic database search (PubMed, Embase, Cinahl and Scopus) for prospective studies on the association of exposure to screen work and musculoskeletal symptoms was conducted. Studies were synthesised regarding extracted data and risk of bias, and meta-analyses were conducted.RESULTS: After screening 3423 unique references, 19 articles from 12 studies (with 18 538 participants) were included for the current review, with the most recent exposure assessment reported in 2005. Studies described duration and input frequency of screen work (ie, computer, keyboard and mouse use, assessed using self-reports or software recordings) and musculoskeletal symptoms (ie, self-reported neck/shoulder and distal upper extremity symptoms and diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome [CTS]). Although there was overall an increased occurrence of musculoskeletal symptoms with larger exposure to screen work (relative risk: 1.11 [1.03 1.19]), findings were rather inconsistent with weaker (and statistically non-significant) risks when screen work was assessed by software recording (1.05 [0.91 1.21]) compared to with self-report (1.14 [1.03 1.19]).CONCLUSIONS: We found an increased risk of musculoskeletal symptoms with screen work. However, the evidence is heterogeneous, and it is striking that it lacks information from contemporary screen work using laptop, notebook or tablet computers.",
author = "Pieter Coenen and {van der Molen}, {Henk F} and Alex Burdorf and Huysmans, {Maaike A} and Leon Straker and Frings-Dresen, {Monique Hw} and {van der Beek}, {Allard J}",
note = "{\circledC} Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1136/oemed-2018-105553",
language = "English",
volume = "76",
pages = "502--509",
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Associations of screen work with neck and upper extremity symptoms : a systematic review with meta-analysis. / Coenen, Pieter; van der Molen, Henk F; Burdorf, Alex; Huysmans, Maaike A; Straker, Leon; Frings-Dresen, Monique Hw; van der Beek, Allard J.

In: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 76, No. 7, 07.2019, p. 502-509.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Associations of screen work with neck and upper extremity symptoms

T2 - a systematic review with meta-analysis

AU - Coenen, Pieter

AU - van der Molen, Henk F

AU - Burdorf, Alex

AU - Huysmans, Maaike A

AU - Straker, Leon

AU - Frings-Dresen, Monique Hw

AU - van der Beek, Allard J

N1 - © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

PY - 2019/7

Y1 - 2019/7

N2 - OBJECTIVES: It has often been suggested that screen work (ie, work on desktop, laptop, notebook or tablet computers) is a risk factor for neck and upper extremity symptoms. However, an up-to-date overview and quantification of evidence are lacking. We aimed to systematically review the association of exposure to screen work with neck and upper extremity symptoms from prospective studies.METHODS: An electronic database search (PubMed, Embase, Cinahl and Scopus) for prospective studies on the association of exposure to screen work and musculoskeletal symptoms was conducted. Studies were synthesised regarding extracted data and risk of bias, and meta-analyses were conducted.RESULTS: After screening 3423 unique references, 19 articles from 12 studies (with 18 538 participants) were included for the current review, with the most recent exposure assessment reported in 2005. Studies described duration and input frequency of screen work (ie, computer, keyboard and mouse use, assessed using self-reports or software recordings) and musculoskeletal symptoms (ie, self-reported neck/shoulder and distal upper extremity symptoms and diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome [CTS]). Although there was overall an increased occurrence of musculoskeletal symptoms with larger exposure to screen work (relative risk: 1.11 [1.03 1.19]), findings were rather inconsistent with weaker (and statistically non-significant) risks when screen work was assessed by software recording (1.05 [0.91 1.21]) compared to with self-report (1.14 [1.03 1.19]).CONCLUSIONS: We found an increased risk of musculoskeletal symptoms with screen work. However, the evidence is heterogeneous, and it is striking that it lacks information from contemporary screen work using laptop, notebook or tablet computers.

AB - OBJECTIVES: It has often been suggested that screen work (ie, work on desktop, laptop, notebook or tablet computers) is a risk factor for neck and upper extremity symptoms. However, an up-to-date overview and quantification of evidence are lacking. We aimed to systematically review the association of exposure to screen work with neck and upper extremity symptoms from prospective studies.METHODS: An electronic database search (PubMed, Embase, Cinahl and Scopus) for prospective studies on the association of exposure to screen work and musculoskeletal symptoms was conducted. Studies were synthesised regarding extracted data and risk of bias, and meta-analyses were conducted.RESULTS: After screening 3423 unique references, 19 articles from 12 studies (with 18 538 participants) were included for the current review, with the most recent exposure assessment reported in 2005. Studies described duration and input frequency of screen work (ie, computer, keyboard and mouse use, assessed using self-reports or software recordings) and musculoskeletal symptoms (ie, self-reported neck/shoulder and distal upper extremity symptoms and diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome [CTS]). Although there was overall an increased occurrence of musculoskeletal symptoms with larger exposure to screen work (relative risk: 1.11 [1.03 1.19]), findings were rather inconsistent with weaker (and statistically non-significant) risks when screen work was assessed by software recording (1.05 [0.91 1.21]) compared to with self-report (1.14 [1.03 1.19]).CONCLUSIONS: We found an increased risk of musculoskeletal symptoms with screen work. However, the evidence is heterogeneous, and it is striking that it lacks information from contemporary screen work using laptop, notebook or tablet computers.

U2 - 10.1136/oemed-2018-105553

DO - 10.1136/oemed-2018-105553

M3 - Review article

VL - 76

SP - 502

EP - 509

JO - Occupational and Environmental Medicine

JF - Occupational and Environmental Medicine

SN - 1351-0711

IS - 7

ER -