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Working conditions and health among female and male employees at a call center in Sweden.
Am J Ind Med. 2004 Jul; 46(1):55-62.AJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The call center industry is one of the most expansive labor market sectors in Sweden today. The purpose of this study was to investigate the working conditions and symptoms among employees at a call center in Sweden.

METHODS

This study represents the cross-sectional baseline survey, which was part of a prospective cohort study. Fifty-seven call center workers were compared with a reference group of 1,459 professional computer users from other occupations. A questionnaire covered physical and psychosocial working conditions and symptoms during the last month. Structured observations in accordance with an ergonomic checklist were used to assess workstation design during the subject's ordinary work.

RESULTS

The call center group had worked for a shorter time in their present tasks and spent longer continuous time in front of the computer than the reference group. There were deficiencies in workspace, keyboard- and input device placement. The subjects reported poor support from their immediate supervisor, low control and limited opportunities to influence their work. A higher proportion of the call center group reported musculoskeletal symptoms.

CONCLUSION

The call center operators were exposed to working conditions that in other studies have indicated an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. The study also shows that young computer operators in the call center group with a short working career had a higher prevalence of neck- and upper extremity symptoms than older computer workers in other labor market sectors.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department for Work and Health, National Institute for Working Life, Stockholm, Sweden. kerstin.norman@ali.seNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15202125

Citation

Norman, Kerstin, et al. "Working Conditions and Health Among Female and Male Employees at a Call Center in Sweden." American Journal of Industrial Medicine, vol. 46, no. 1, 2004, pp. 55-62.
Norman K, Nilsson T, Hagberg M, et al. Working conditions and health among female and male employees at a call center in Sweden. Am J Ind Med. 2004;46(1):55-62.
Norman, K., Nilsson, T., Hagberg, M., Tornqvist, E. W., & Toomingas, A. (2004). Working conditions and health among female and male employees at a call center in Sweden. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 46(1), 55-62.
Norman K, et al. Working Conditions and Health Among Female and Male Employees at a Call Center in Sweden. Am J Ind Med. 2004;46(1):55-62. PubMed PMID: 15202125.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Working conditions and health among female and male employees at a call center in Sweden. AU - Norman,Kerstin, AU - Nilsson,Tohr, AU - Hagberg,Mats, AU - Tornqvist,Ewa Wigaeus, AU - Toomingas,Allan, PY - 2004/6/18/pubmed PY - 2004/12/16/medline PY - 2004/6/18/entrez SP - 55 EP - 62 JF - American journal of industrial medicine JO - Am J Ind Med VL - 46 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: The call center industry is one of the most expansive labor market sectors in Sweden today. The purpose of this study was to investigate the working conditions and symptoms among employees at a call center in Sweden. METHODS: This study represents the cross-sectional baseline survey, which was part of a prospective cohort study. Fifty-seven call center workers were compared with a reference group of 1,459 professional computer users from other occupations. A questionnaire covered physical and psychosocial working conditions and symptoms during the last month. Structured observations in accordance with an ergonomic checklist were used to assess workstation design during the subject's ordinary work. RESULTS: The call center group had worked for a shorter time in their present tasks and spent longer continuous time in front of the computer than the reference group. There were deficiencies in workspace, keyboard- and input device placement. The subjects reported poor support from their immediate supervisor, low control and limited opportunities to influence their work. A higher proportion of the call center group reported musculoskeletal symptoms. CONCLUSION: The call center operators were exposed to working conditions that in other studies have indicated an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. The study also shows that young computer operators in the call center group with a short working career had a higher prevalence of neck- and upper extremity symptoms than older computer workers in other labor market sectors. SN - 0271-3586 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15202125/Working_conditions_and_health_among_female_and_male_employees_at_a_call_center_in_Sweden_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.20039 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -