Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: No evidence for an effect of working from home on neck pain and neck disability among Swiss office workers : short-term impact of COVID-19
Authors: Aegerter, Andrea
Deforth, Manja
Johnston, Venerina
Sjøgaard, Gisela
Volken, Thomas
Luomajoki, Hannu
Dratva, Julia
Dressel, Holger
Distler, Oliver
Elfering, Achim
Melloh, Markus
et. al: No
DOI: 10.1007/s00586-021-06829-w
Published in: European Spine Journal
Volume(Issue): 30
Issue: 6
Pages: 1699
Pages to: 1707
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Springer
ISSN: 0940-6719
1432-0932
Language: English
Subjects: Neck pain; Neck disability; COVID-19; Pandemic; Working from home
Subject (DDC): 331: Labor economics
613: Personal health
Abstract: Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of working from home on neck pain (NP) among office workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Participants from two Swiss organisations, aged 18–65 years and working from home during the lockdown (n = 69) were included. Baseline data collected in January 2020 before the lockdown (office work) were compared with follow-up data in April 2020 during lockdown (working from home). The primary outcome of NP was assessed with a measure of intensity and disability. Secondary outcomes were quality of workstation ergonomics, number of work breaks, and time spent working at the computer. Two linear mixed effects models were fitted to the data to estimate the change in NP. Results: No clinically relevant change in the average NP intensity and neck disability was found between measurement time points. Each working hour at the computer increased NP intensity by 0.36 points (95%CI: 0.09 to 0.62) indicating strong evidence. No such effect was found for neck disability. Each work break taken reduced neck disability by 2.30 points (95% CI:  − 4.18 to  − 0.42, evidence). No such effect was found for NP intensity. There is very strong evidence that workstation ergonomics was poorer at home. Conclusion: The number of work breaks and hours spent at the computer seem to have a greater effect on NP than the place of work (office, at home), measurement time point (before COVID-19, during lockdown) or the workstation ergonomics. Further research should investigate the effect of social and psychological factors.
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/22247
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Health Professions
Organisational Unit: Institute of Health Sciences (IGW)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Prävention und Intervention von Nackenschmerzen bei Büroangestellten in der Schweiz (NEXpro)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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