Evidence-based suggestions for preventing upper extremity MSDs in the workplace

The review team's advice, based on a rigorous systematic review process and discussions about the findings with numerous stakeholder groups

Recommendation

(a strong level of research evidence makes this a recommended workplace practice)

  • Implementing a workplace-based resistance training exercise program can help prevent and manage upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders.

Practice considerations

(a moderate level of evidence makes the application of these practices in the workplace worth considering)

  • Workplaces should consider implementing stretching exercise programs (including yoga), workstation forearm supports and vibration feedback on mouse use, if applicable to the work context.
  • Workplaces should consider seeking alternatives to job stress management,  EMG biofeedback and workstation adjustments alone (i.e. with minimal worker involvement) because these programs appear to have no effect on upper extremity MSDs.

Source: At Work, Issue 78, Fall 2014: Institute for Work & Health, Toronto

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