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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 50-55

A trend of cumulative trauma disorders in indian computer users: A comparison of surveys of the year 2009 versus 2019

1 Consultant Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Anmol Child Development Clinic, Kandivali (W), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Master's Student, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pooja Pankaj Mehta
202, Punit Ganga, Gokhale Road, Dahanukar Wadi, Kandivali (W), Mumbai - 400 067, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_6_20

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Background: Digitalization has resulted in increased computer use. Computer use involves repetitive movements and relatively static posture of neck, limbs, and trunk, contributing in cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs). Over a decade, ergonomic awareness has increased, but CTDs have prevailed. Objective: A comparison of 2009 versus 2019 surveys was done to understand CTD trends and to find the significance of the number of people affected due to hours per day computer use. Study Design: A comparison of two surveys was conducted to research trend in occurrences of CTDs. Methods: The sampling was done using the snowball method. Both surveys had identical research methodology and collected data of (n) 100 computer users of India with an age range of 20–50 years, i.e., total of N = 200 in combined surveys. Participants filled in the self-explanatory questionnaire on Google Forms that assessed areas of CTD pain, severity of pain, and functional performance during pain. Results: Data analysis showed a higher percentage of pain in the neck, eye strain, and back pain in computer users in both 2009 and 2019 surveys. There was an overall decrease in the percentage of computer users affected with CTDs from 86% to 70%, but anatomically, an increase in percentages of pain in the upper limb, headaches, and lower-back pain was reported in 2019. The relation between duration of computer use and number of computer users affected was found to be nonsignificant for both 2009 and 2019 surveys (χ[2] = 3.5408; P = 1.7027 and χ[2] = 1.3739; P = 0.5031, respectively, 95% confidence interval [CI] [4.605, 7.378]). Spearman's correlation showed no significant correlation between duration of computer use and severity of pain in both 2009 (r = 0.078; P = 0.443, 95% CI [−0.120, 0.270]) and 2019 (r = −0.085; P = 0.398, 95% CI [−0.277, 0.114]). Conclusion: The comparison of 2009 and 2019 surveys showed an overall decrease in the percentage of computer users affected with CTDs in the 2019 survey. An increase in upper-limb pain, headache, and lower-back ache percentages was noted, while upper-back pain, neck pain, and eye strain percentage showed a decreasing trend in the 2019 survey. The percentage of computer users affected with pain in the neck, pain in the back, and eye strain was higher than other CTD areas in both the surveys. The duration of computer use did not show a significant correlation to the presence of CTDs among computer users in both surveys.

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