Question:Our boss wants us to take part in a new group session. The idea is to prevent neck and shoulder problems from too much time at the computer. I'm not really a group person. How is this going to help me? Could I just take the materials and read them on my own and still get the help I need?
Answer:Studies show that physical problems from long hours and days at the workstation (and especially in front of a computer) can take their toll on workers. Headaches, neck and arm pain, and stiffness are common complaints.
A good employer should address these concerns. Preventing problems before they begin can help maintain workers' quality of life. It can also prevent the high cost of worker disability. And it can take a long time to recover from physical problems caused by excessive computer time.
Group therapy is a cost-effective way to get the word out. Instead of taking an hour to train each individual worker, a small group meeting can train six to 10 workers in the same hour. This makes good sense from the business side of employment.
Studies also show that workers are more likely to be compliant with the program and benefit from the results. In a large group, general awareness and education is easy to impart. In a small group, solutions can be found that can be tailored to each individual.
Any program that requires behavioral changes takes time. Support from others along the way can only help. Discussing common problems and finding ways to solve them is more likely to happen in a group setting. Even if you don't speak out yourself, you may be able to benefit from what others have to say.Claire M. Bernaards, et al. The Effectiveness of a Work Style Intervention and a Lifestyle Physical Activity Intervention on the Recovery from Neck and Upper Limb Symptoms in Computer Workers. In Pain. November 2007. Vol. 132. No. I-2. Pp. 142-153.
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