Anthropometric dimensions and overuse injury among Australian keyboard operators Academic Article uri icon


  • This study was instigated to examine the relationship between overuse injury and anthropometric dimensions of Australian keyboard operators to investigate the possibility that a poor anthropometric fit of the workstation may result in greater incidence of such disorders. There were no differences between the anthropometric dimensions of sufferers and nonsufferers of overuse injury among the male keyboard operators. Among men in this study, stature and several other anthropometric dimensions as a proportion of stature were similar to those of North American and European populations for which equipment used in Australia is designed. In contrast, among women, significant differences were evident between sufferers and nonsufferers. The sufferers had greater hip widths and seat breadths, and a greater proportion were overweight (body mass greater than 26). There was also a tendency for shorter limb segment lengths among the sufferers. The women as a group, and the sufferers in particular, had several anthropometric dimensions that, as a proportion of stature, were outside the range of reference populations for design of Australian office workstations. The subject numbers in the present study are relatively small; however, they suggest that a proportion of the female population may not be accommodated by equipment currently in use. The increased proportion of sufferers who are overweight may suggest a relationship between overuse injury and lack of exercise, since the latter is well known to cause increased weight. A longitudinal study is needed to confirm this observation.

publication date

  • January 1, 1989