JOSE: The influence of a dynamic elastic garment on musculoskeletal and respiratory wellness in computer users

May 27, 2016

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Background. Evidence is growing that computer users are at increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, particularly those involving the upper extremity, with significant financial cost and lost productivity. Objective. The purpose of this study was to determine the short-term effects of wearing a dynamic elastic garment (Posture Shirt; AlignMed, USA) on musculoskeletal wellness and health in the computer workplace.Methods. Ninety-six computer users were evaluated. The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire was completed. A functional assessment of posture, lung function, and grip strength was performed after wearing the Posture Shirt for 4 weeks. A training log was kept to track usage of the garment, as well as weekly sensations of fatigue, productivity, and energy level. Results. After 4 weeks, there was statistically significant improvement in forward shoulder and head posture, thoracic kyphosis, and grip strength. Improvements in spirometry measures did not meet statistical significance. Postural fatigue and muscular fatigue decreased by 21% and 29%, respectively, and energy level and productivity increased by 20% and 13%, respectively. Conclusion. This prospective study demonstrated positive short-term impact of the Posture Shirt on both subjective and objective measures of posture, lung function, grip strength, fatigue, and productivity.


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