Computer Use Exposed thesis   Download Thesis  

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Computer Use Exposed

The aim of the current dissertation is to describe patterns of computer use and provide suggestions how these patterns might be related to CANS (complaints of the arm, neck and/or shoulder). Registration software was used to unobtrusively monitor computer use patterns over two years in a large group of office workers.

Four key findings of the studies described in this dissertation are presented. First, computer work did not differ to a large extent from non-computer work in terms of (variability in) muscle activity. This indicates that physical risk factors for CANS cannot be solely attributable to computer work per se, and that non-computer work might present similar risk factors for CANS. Second, large between-day variability in computer use duration was found, which should be taken into account when choosing the measurement period for registration software. Third, computer use duration as measured with registration software provides a conceptually different measure of duration than self-reported duration. Fourth, several computer use measures were found to have a non-normal distribution within a work day. Therefore, averaging these measures throughout a day or a week without taking the dispersion into account is not representative for office worker’s computer use patterns.

In conclusion, this dissertation provides insight into the analysis and interpretation of natural computer use patterns by registration software, and challenges ergonomists and researchers to think critically about when and how to use registration software in office work.

Media Exposure

Radio Interviews



    • 21-11-2009
    • Algemeen Dagblad
    • Sporten in lunchpauze goed tegen RSI (p.5)
    • (PDF article)
    • ...and several more


    • 8-12-2009
    • Weekblad Facilitair
    • 'Sporten beter dan pauzeren bij rsi' (p.14-15)
    • (PDF article)