Effects of Workstation Type on Mental Stress

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Effects of Workstation Type on Mental Stress: fNIRS Study.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of the workstation type on the severity of mental stress by means of measuring prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation using functional near-infrared spectroscopy.
BACKGROUND: Workstation type is known to influence worker’s health and performance. Despite the practical implications of ergonomic workstations, limited information is available regarding their impact on brain activity and executive functions.
METHOD: Ten healthy participants performed a Montreal imaging stress task (MIST) in ergonomic and nonergonomic workstations to investigate their effects on the severity of the induced mental stress.
RESULTS: Cortical hemodynamic changes in the PFC were observed during the MIST in both the ergonomic and nonergonomic workstations. However, the ergonomic workstation exhibited improved MIST performance, which was positively correlated with the cortical activation on the right ventrolateral and the left dorsolateral PFC, as well as a marked decrease in salivary alpha-amylase activity compared with that of the nonergonomic workstation. Further analysis using the NASA Task Load Index revealed a higher weighted workload score in the nonergonomic workstation than that in the ergonomic workstation.
CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that ergonomic workstations could significantly improve cognitive functioning and human capabilities at work compared to a nonergonomic workstation.
APPLICATION: Such a study could provide critical information on workstation design and development of mental stress that can be overlooked during traditional workstation design and mental stress assessments.

PMID: 32286888 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Hum Factors. 2020 Apr 14;:18720820913173

Authors: Alyan E, Saad NM, Kamel N

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