Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are common in individuals with computer based work. The
currently known risk factors for these disorders is in the literature derived to physical,
organizational and individual factors. A recent survey of three working groups at a company
in Stockholm explored that more than 50% of the employees had neck and shoulder problems.
Aim: The study aims to create a better understanding for the current musculoskeletal
problems at the company. Such an understanding is created by examining the physical,
organizational and individual risk factors in the workplace and the result can provide a good
basis for intervention proposals.
Method: In order to answer the aim of the study the authors chosed to use both qualitative
and quantitative methods of data collection through interviews and questionnaire survey. The
interview and questionnaire was designed to create both a specific and comprehensive picture
of the physical, organizational and individual risk factors having a bearing effect on the
existing MSD problem.
Result: Seven categories were compiled from interviews, which largely deals with the fact
that high demands can lead to behaviors that may pose a significant risk for the occurrence of
MSD. Behaviours such as taking fewer breaks and having a hard time letting go of work
during breaks and free time. In addition it was found that workers believe that the ventilation
is a major cause of the problem. A widespread dissatisfaction with ventilation, temperature
and noise were also seen in the responses from the survey. A correlation analysis showed that
an exposure of multiple physical risk factors correlate with the prevalence of MSD among
Conclusion: The result of this study exemplifies how the interaction between organizational
and individual factors may cause MSD in the neck and shoulder. However, it seems that the
workers themselves often relate the MSD problem to physical risk factors in the working
environment such as poor ventilation. A dissatisfaction with physical factors in the work
environment seems to have a moderate correlation with the prevalence of MSD among the
Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorders, Neck, Shoulder, Computer work, VDU, Risk factors,
2012. , 60 p.