Research published in the May issue of Arthritis Care & Research reports that people who have Fibromyalgia and/or arthritis who experience discomfort or problems working on the computer contribute to work limitations. This study consisted of 359 patients who suffer from either rheumatoid arthritis, Fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis who all completed a survey about their computer use, specific problems while using certain computer equipment & discomfort. The data was analyzed by Nancy Baker & colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh in PA.
The researchers found that 76.5% of the study participants reported experiencing discomfort using at least one piece of computer equipment. Almost 55% of participants reported having discomfort with computer chair use. Other items reported to cause discomfort include the computer mouse, keyboard and monitor.
The investigators found that Fibromyalgia patients reported experiencing more severe discomfort, more problems, and more significant limitations related to computer use than people with the arthritic conditions.
The study authors stated:
“The ability to use a computer appears to be one method to prevent work limitations and eventual work disability, as well as a vital tool for both work and home activities. Therefore, health professionals must work with people with arthritis to identify problems experienced during computer use and implement computer workstation modifications to ensure safe, effective, and comfortable use of all computer equipment.”