Workplace factors associated with neck pain experienced by computer users: a systematic review

Gerard A. Keown*, Peter A. Tuchin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The purpose of this systematic review was to examine literature on workplace factors associated with neck pain or symptoms in computer users performing clerical functions. Methods: A systematic search of the Cochrane, Medline, CINAHL, and EMBASE databases was conducted for observational and experimental studies published since 2000. This review applied the case definition of The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders. Results: Seven hundred twenty-nine studies were identified. Seven hundred and two studies were excluded. Twenty-seven studies fulfilled inclusion criteria and were assessed for risk of bias. Cross-sectional studies were commonly at risk from nonresponse bias and lack of adequate case definitions. Experimental studies were mostly at risk of bias due to confounding and participant recruitment methods. Conclusions: Neck pain was not significantly associated with high job demands, low skill discretion, low decision authority, or low peer support. However, when these variables were combined with increased duration of computing tasks, or ergonomic demands, they reached significance. Supervisor support was found to be the only significant buffer capable of preventing these variables reaching significance in female office workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-529
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • neck pain
  • computers
  • workplace
  • occupational injuries


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