Various Sectors of Industry in Finland:
Kari Lindstrtim and Vesa Hottinen
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Department of Psychology
The use of VDTs and personal computers is common in most occupations and in nearly all branches of industry. The context of VDT use, however, differs quite a lot depending on the tasks, occupations and the sector of industry (e.g. Lindström et al. 1997). The wide variety of tasks in which VDTs and various softwares are used complicates the monitoring of their possible stress and health effects. Earlier studies have also shown that it is important to consider the temporal issues in Human-Computer Interaction when studying VDT work and its relations to job and organizational factors and well-being ( Carayon 1997). Lack of control and lack of social support have been chronic stressors affecting psychological distress among VDT workers. Lack of control ( Carayon et al. 1995) and high physical work load ( Lindström. et al. 1997) have related to musculoskeletal discomfort. But all these effects are usually based on multifactorial relationships. Eye discomfort has been explained inconsistently by various factors when the same VDT -users have been followed ( Lindström. et al. 1997). Thus, the relationships between VDT use, work content and organizational factors, as well as various stress effects, most probably differ according to the temporal as well as individual and task-related factors.
The aim of this paper was to describe VDT-related work at the national level, and to investigate how VDT work, its amount and the difficulties associated with software use were related to job and organizational factors and well-being in such a heterogeneous sample.