Effectiveness of participatory ergonomics interventions: a systematic review

Reasons for the study

There is evidence that the inappropriate design of workplaces and work processes contributes significantly to the development of common work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). By improving ergonomic aspects of work and workplaces, it should be possible to prevent or reduce these disorders and increase productivity. IWH conducted a systematic review to summarize the existing scientific literature on the effectiveness of workplace-based participatory ergonomics interventions in improving workers' health.


Completed in 2005, this systematic review found enough evidence to recommend the use of PE interventions as a way to improve health outcomes. The review team also developed a set of recommendations aimed at improving how such research is designed and evaluated.

Related scientific publications

Rivilis I, Van Eerd D, Cullen KL, Cole DC, Irvin E, Tyson J, Mahood Q. Effectiveness of participatory ergonomic interventions on health outcomes: a systematic review. Applied Ergonomics. 2008;39(3):342-358. doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2007.08.006.
Cole D, Rivilis I, Van Eerd D, Cullen KL, Irvin E, Kramer D. Effectiveness of participatory ergonomic interventions: a systematic review. Institute for Work & Health; 2005.

Related research summaries

Effectiveness of participatory ergonomics: summary of a systematic review . Sharing Best Evidence: Institute for Work & Health, February 2005.

Project status

Completed 2005

Research team

Donald Cole, Institute for Work & Health
Irina Rivilis, Institute for Work & Health
Dwayne Van Eerd, Institute for Work & Health
Kim Cullen, Institute for Work & Health
Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health
Desre Kramer, Institute for Work & Health

Funded by

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario