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Appl Ergon. 2008 Nov;39(6):729-36. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2007.11.004. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Orthostatic symptoms, blood pressure and working postures of factory and service workers over an observed workday.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Quebec, CP 8888, Succ. Centre-ville, Montreal, Que., Canada H3C 3P8.


North American workers usually stand while working, and prolonged standing is associated with discomfort and cardiovascular problems. Moving may alleviate the problems, but optimum mobility is unknown. The effects of variations in mobility were explored among (1) 34 health care workers whose symptoms of orthostatic intolerance (OI) were recorded after work; (2) 45 factory and laundry workers. Postures were observed over a workday and blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) of both groups were recorded before and after work. Among health care workers, 65% manifested OI symptoms. In a multiple logistic regression, presence of >or= 1 symptom of OI was associated with static postures and being female (p=0.001). More static standing was associated with a larger drop in BP (p=0.04) in both populations. The results suggest that more static standing postures are associated with OI and musculoskeletal symptoms and with a subclinical drop in BP.

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