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D. A Workstation Intervention That Improves Musculoskeletal Health

Narrator: This is Science Today. A year-long ergonomics study evaluated workstation interventions on the musculoskeletal health of customer service workers. David Rempel, a professor of medicine at the University of California , San Francisco and director of the Ergonomics Program at UC Berkeley, says the padded forearm support board effectively reduced upper body pain linked to workers' computer use.

Rempel: At the end of the year, we determined that their pain in their shoulders and neck and their right arm were less when they used a forearm support board than those people who did not use a forearm support board.

Narrator: Rempel says unlike wrist rests, a forearm support board is wider and the pressure is not applied directly to the wrist area.

Rempel: The forearm support board it attaches to the front edge of the desk and it's wider than a wrist rest, so it really supports the arm in the bulky part, the muscle part of the forearm. The wrist rest is narrower and sits right in front of the keyboard, so the forearm support board transferred some of the load from the arms onto the meaty part of the forearm where the muscles are, instead of right at the wrist.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.