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Am J Ind Med. 2004 Sep;46(3):297-303.

Upper extremity pain and computer use among engineering graduate students.

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  • 1University Health Services, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94804, USA.



The objective of this study was to investigate risk factors associated with persistent or recurrent upper extremity and neck pain among engineering graduate students.


A random sample of 206 Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) graduate students at a large public university completed an online questionnaire.


Approximately 60% of respondents reported upper extremity or neck pain attributed to computer use and reported a mean pain severity score of 4.5 (+/-2.2; scale 0-10). In a final logistic regression model, female gender, years of computer use, and hours of computer use per week were significantly associated with pain.


The high prevalence of upper extremity pain reported by graduate students suggests a public health need to identify interventions that will reduce symptom severity and prevent impairment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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