SJWEH Supplements are open access, (mostly) non-peer-reviewed articles usually published in theme issues or as part of a series of papers from a conference or workshop. Scand J Work Environ Health stopped publishing SJWEH Supplements in 2009.


SJWEH Supplements 2007;(no 3):54-59    pdf

Associations between eyestrain and neck–shoulder symptoms among call-center operators

by Wiholm C, Richter H, Mathiassen SE, Toomingas A

Objectives Few, if any, studies have investigated whether eyestrain and shoulder–neck symptoms are correlated, although functional links could be expected on the basis of neurophysiological evidence. This cross-sectional study assessed correlations between self-reported eyestrain and shoulder–neck symptoms among call center workers, while controlling for possible confounders for these ailments.

Methods A questionnaire concerning socioeconomic background, work conditions, and symptoms was mailed to 1531 employees at 28 different call centers during 2001–2003.

Results Altogether 21% of the responding participants (N=1183) reported both eyestrain and neck–shoulder symptoms, 46% reported neck–shoulder symptoms only, and 6% reported eye symptoms only; 27% were free from symptoms in these regions. A significant positive association was found between eyestrain and neck–shoulder symptoms. Significant covariates for shoulder–neck disorders were eyestrain (OR 1.6, P=0.007), gender (to be female) (OR 1.9, P