Daily visual display terminal use and musculoskeletal disorders among Iranian bank tellers

Document Type: Original Article


1 Kurdistan Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Department of Occupational Health, School of Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Visual display terminals (VDTs) as one of the most important and useful equipment are used in offices and workplaces that may be created some health hazards, including work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The aims of this study were to (i) investigate the prevalence of WMSDs among Iranian bank tellers and (ii) to examine the demographic and work-related characteristics associated with that prevalence rate. In this cross-sectional study, 382 bank tellers who regularly working at VDTs stations were interviewed. The demographic, work characteristics and MSDs data were collected using specific questionnaire and standardized Nordic self-reporting Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. Hence, data analyses were carried out using IBM SPSS for Windows 20.0. As a result, 70.2% of participants reported the musculoskeletal problems within 12 past months in at least one of the body regions. The most prevalence was reported in the neck (37.4%) and low back (36.6%) regions, and the elbows (8.3%), and thighs (12.3%) were regions that reported with the least prevalence rate. Mean duration of daily VDT (DVDT) work in 268 subjects with musculoskeletal symptoms was 6.2 h (SD = ±2.2) and in other 114 subjects without symptoms, it was 5.5 h (SD = ±2.3). There was a positive significant relationship between DVDT work hours with reported musculoskeletal problems (P = 0.005). In conclusion, WMSDs in bank tellers happened in high rate (70.2%) and the most complain reported in neck and low back regions. The most consistently identified risk factor was a duration of DVDT use and inadequate break times.  


1. Yoshioka E, Saijo Y, Fukui T, Kawaharada M, Kishi R. Association between duration of daily visual display terminal work and insomnia among local government clerks in Japan. Am J Ind Med 2008; 51(2): 148-56.

2. Singh S, Wadhwa J. Impact of computer workstation design on health of the users. J Hum Ecol 2006; 20(3):165- 70.

3. Woods V, Hastings S, Buckle PP, Haslam R. Ergonomics of using a mouse or other non-keyboard input device. London, UK: Health and Safety Executive; 2002. p. 511-8.

4. Werner RA, Franzblau A, Gell N, Ulin SS, Armstrong TJ. Predictors of upper extremity discomfort: a longitudinal study of industrial and clerical workers. J Occup Rehabil 2005; 15(1): 27-35.
5. Yun MH, Lee YG, Eoh HJ, Lim SH. Results of a survey on the awareness and severity assessment of upper-limb work-related musculoskeletal disorders among female bank tellers in Korea. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2001; 27(5): 347-57.

6. Jensen C, Finsen L, Sogaard K, Christensen H. Musculoskeletal symptoms and duration of computer and mouse use. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2002; 30(4-5): 265-75.

7. Karlqvist LK, Hagberg M, Koster M, Wenemark M, Nell R. Musculoskeletal symptoms among computer-assisted design (CAD) operators and evaluation of a self-assessment questionnaire. Int J Occup Environ Health 1996; 2(3): 185-94.

8. Bergqvist U, Wolgast E, Nilsson B, Voss M. Musculoskeletal disorders among visual display terminal workers: individual, ergonomic, and work organizational factors. Ergonomics 1995; 38(4): 763-76.

9. Bernard B, Sauter S, Fine L, Petersen M, Hales T. Job task and psychosocial risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders among newspaper employees. Scand J Work Environ Health 1994; 20(6):417- 26.

10. Talwar R, Kapoor R, Puri K, Bansal K, Singh S. A study of visual and musculoskeletal health disorders among computer professionals in NCR Delhi. Indian J Community Med 2009; 34(4): 326-8.

11. Mirmohammadi S, Mehrparvar A, Soleimani H, Lotfi M, Akbari H, Heidari N. Musculoskeletal disorders among video display terminal (VDT) workers comparing with other office workers. Iran Occup Health 2010; 7(2): 11-4. [In Persian]

12. Jafari Nodoushan R, Halvani G, Vatani Shoaa J, Vatani shoaa J. Survey of musculoskeletal disorders among bank staff in Yazd. Occup Med 2011; 3(1): 1-7.[In Persian]

13. Bruce PB. Musculoskeletal disorders and workplace factors [Online]. [cited 1997 Jul]; Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pdfs/97-141.pdf

14. Linton SJ, Kamwendo K. Risk factors in the psychosocial work environment for neck and shoulder pain in secretaries. J Occup Med 1989; 31(7): 609-13.

15. Putz-Anderson V, Bernard BP. Musculoskeletal disorders and workplace factors. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; 1997.

16. Choobineh A, Rajaeefard A, Neghab M. Association between perceived demands and musculoskeletal disorders among hospital nurses of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences: a questionnaire survey. Int J Occup Saf Ergon 2006; 12(4): 409-16.

17. Choobineh A, Movahed M, Tabatabaie SH, KumashiroM. Perceived demands and musculoskeletal disorders in operating room nurses of Shiraz city hospitals. Ind Health 2010; 48(1): 74-84.

18. Klussmann A, Gebhardt H, Liebers F, Rieger MA. Musculoskeletal symptoms of the upper extremities and the neck: a cross-sectional study on prevalence and symptom-predicting factors at visual display terminal (VDT) workstations. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2008; 9: 96.

19. Waersted M, Hanvold TN, Veiersted KB. Computer work and musculoskeletal disorders of the neck and upper extremity: a systematic review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2010; 11: 79.

20. Baron S, Hales T, Hurrell J. Evaluation of symptom surveys for occupational musculoskeletal disorders. Am J Ind Med 1996; 29(6): 609-17.

21. Choobineh A, Lahmi M, Shahnavaz H, Jazani RK, Hosseini M. Musculoskeletal symptoms as related to ergonomic factors in Iranian hand-woven carpet industry and general guidelines for workstation design. Int J Occup Saf Ergon 2004; 10(2): 157-68.

22. Fogleman M, Lewis RJ. Factors associated with self-reported musculoskeletal discomfort in video display terminal (VDT) users. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 2002; 29(6): 311-8.

23. Devereux JJ, Vlachonikolis IG, Buckle PW. Epidemiological study to investigate potential interaction between physical and psychosocial factors at work that may increase the risk of symptoms of musculoskeletal disorder of the neck and upper limb. Occup Environ Med 2002; 59(4): 269-77.

24. Bergqvist U, Wolgast E, Nilsson B, Voss M. The influence of VDT work on musculoskeletal disorders. Ergonomics 1995; 38(4): 754-62.

25. Aydeniz A, Gürsoy S. Upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders among computer users. Turk J Med Sci 2008; 38(3): 235-8. 

26. Turhan N, Akat C, Akyuz M, Cakci A. Ergonomic risk factors for cumulative trauma disorders in VDU operators. Int J Occup Saf Ergon 2008; 14(4): 417-22.

27. Leino P, Magni G. Depressive and distress symptoms as predictors of low back pain, neck-shoulder pain, and other musculoskeletal morbidity: a 10-year follow-up of metal industry employees. Pain 1993; 53(1): 89-94.

28. Janwantanakul P, Pensri P, Jiamjarasrangsi W, Sinsongsook T. Associations between prevalence of self-reported musculoskeletal symptoms of the spine and biopsychosocial factors among office workers. J Occup Health 2009; 51(2): 114-22.