The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4059.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 2

Abstract #51936

Computer-related Cumulative Trauma Disorder Risk For College Students

Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132, 415-440-8553, and Lisa D. Moore, PhD, Department of Community Health Education, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., Science 389, San Francisco, CA 94132.

Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) are musculoskeletal injuries resulting from cumulative repetitive stressful movements and other potential contributing factors. CTDs are a major health problem for adults being the most commonly reported type of workplace injury. Despite a growing understanding of adult CTDs, however, little is known about the risks for younger populations. This investigation examined the relationship of college student computer product use and upper body physical discomfort. 300 students were surveyed using a 35-item questionnaire and they self-reported physical discomfort of the wrist and shoulder, eyestrain and headache. Predictors included type of computer products/games used, frequency of use, self-reported emotional well-being and health status indicators. 94% of the students had access to computers where they lived. They used computers 58% of the time for homework and 42% for personal/entertainment purposes. The majority of students reported ‘A little’ to ‘Moderate’ physical discomfort associated with computer use on a five-item discomfort scale: wrist (59%), shoulder (64%), eye strain (66%) and headache (53%). Specific variables, such as using a mouse or keyboard for game play, playing arcade games, using computers at school, and self-reports of irritability, anxiety or depression were significantly predictive of physical discomfort using multiple regression. Computer product use by college students is associated with self-reported physical discomfort. Results suggest a need for more extensive study, including multi-year longitudinal surveys

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Poster Session I

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA