Update on the Musculoskeletal Health of Office Employees in Hong Kong
Employers have legal responsibilities to protect their employees’ health and safety at work. The Occupational Safety and Health (Display Screen Equipment) Regulation (Cap 509B) was enacted in Hong Kong in 2003 which aims at protecting the health and safety of employees who use computer for prolonged period of time. The study result showed that from 2015 to 2017, 96% of 1,618 employees spent at least six hours a day in computing work. The number of employees spending prolonged hours on computers was the highest compared to previous studies. With regard to the musculoskeletal health for the period in 2015 to 2017, 74% of sample employees reported musculoskeletal symptoms for at least one body region. The top three most commonly reported body region with discomfort, in 2015 to 2017, was Shoulder (69%), Neck (49%) and Lower Back (39%). Shoulder, Neck and Lower Back have been the highest reported regions experiencing discomfort since 2011 in Hong Kong. For the seeking of medical treatment, from 2015 to 2017, 39% of sample employees reported that medical treatment was needed for treating their musculoskeletal symptoms. A similar percentage of 42% of sample employees reported requiring medical treatment from 2013 to 2014. The high number of reported cases requiring medical treatment represents the high medical cost borne by employers. In conclusion, the reported rate of musculoskeletal discomfort among office employees has been high in the past 10 years. Regular analysis and updating of the musculoskeletal health of office employees in Hong Kong is needed.
KeywordsOccupational health Musculoskeletal disorders Musculoskeletal health Health and safety Computer users Display screen equipment Hong kong
This work was supported by Chim’s Ergonomics and Safety Limited. The paper was prepared by considering the real case experience from working with clients in workplace design and applies the ergonomics principles in the whole design process.
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