An intervention study comparing traditional and ergonomic microscopes
In recent years, manufacturers have produced new microscopes with claims of "ergonomic design" for reduced musculoskeletal stress among users. To test this claim, we measured posture of the neck, back, and upper extremities, and the prevalence of musculoskeletal and visual symptoms among cytotechnologists while using traditional microscopes (baseline) and again after the introduction of economically designed microscopes. Participants were five full-time cytotechnologists, who used the microscope 6-8 hours per day and had reported discomfort while using traditional microscopes. Results showed the ergonomically designed microscopes were significantly more comfortable to use than the traditional microscopes for the neck and shoulders. Significant improvement in joint angles of the elbows (flexion) and shoulders (abduction) was noted with the ergonomically designed microscopes. These results suggest that ergonomically designed microscopes may reduce some of the risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and benefit individuals who use microscopes for prolonged periods of time.
James, T; Lamar, S; Marker, T; Frederick, L
Proceedings of the Xivth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association and 44th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Association, 'Ergonomics for the New Millennium'
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