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Measuring computer use

Does your health and safety programme monitor levels of computer use to ensure safe exposure levels are not being exceeded?

The level of computer use, or ‘exposure level’, is a key risk factor for office workers. So why are exposure levels seldom monitored in office health and safety programmes? The likely answer is simply because it’s not practical. Until now the only methods available to health and safety personnel have been educated guesses (e.g. call centre workers are probably high users), or asking office workers to answer surveys regarding their own usage.

Unfortunately, research studies1 have shown that actual exposure levels can vary greatly from what you might expect, and that office workers find it hard to estimate their computer use. Worker’s estimates can be out by 100% or more!

The solution is Wellnomics Recorder, software which runs in the background on each office worker’s desktop and records actual levels of computer use. Wellnomics Recorder is the first scientifically validated1 tool proven to measure computer use accurately and reliably3.

Measuring Computer Use with Wellnomics Recorder

Wellnomics Recorder is already used by thousands of organisations (as Wellnomics WorkPace) to provide accurate risk data on computer use, work intensity and breaks.

Example of computer use exposure data recorded for one office worker


Concerns about privacy are easily addressed as Wellnomics Recorder doesn’t record detailed information on what you type, or what websites you’re browsing, only summary data on exposure levels designed solely for health and safety purposes. Wellnomics meets privacy requirements in many countries, and has been implemented successfully in thousands of organisations2 to date.

Individual Risk Report

Wellnomics Recorder automatically builds a profile of each employee’s computer use and then identifies high risk employees. For example, those with either very high mouse or keyboard use, or those taking insufficient breaks.

Online reports are then shown to each employee providing advice on reducing their risk levels. For example, using shortcut keys to reduce high mouse use, or alternating computer and non-computer work to increase breaks from computer intensive tasks.

Management Reports

A unique advantage of this assessment is that risk data is recorded automatically. With minimal effort you can obtain continuously updated management reports on computer use across your organisation. Don’t wait months for surveys and assessments to be completed. Instead, instantly identify employees exceeding safe working levels, and quickly track changes in employee behaviour due to health and safety education or intervention programmes.

The Risk Factors analysed in this assessment are:

Risk Factors Assessed  
Computer Use High use of computer/keyboard/mouse
  High peak computer use
  High laptop use
  High level of computer aided design (CAD) work
  High level of data entry work
Speed and Intensity High level of precise mouse work
  High monotony (high proportion of time spent on same task)
  High typing speed
  High level of mouse clicks
  High use of mouse drag
  High level of mouse movements (direction changes/min)
Breaks High work/rest ratio
  Insufficient rest breaks
  Insufficient micropauses

Note that you don’t have to analyse this data yourself. Wellnomics analyses it for you, and then provides you with recommendations on what steps should be taken, and where further action is needed3.

The Computer Use, Breaks and Work Intensity Assessments are part of the Wellnomics Risk Management solution. Data from these assessments is combined with other assessments, such as Posture and Workstation, Symptoms and Psychosocial Stressors, to provide overall risk levels for employees and the organisation.

1See data sheet The Research behind Wellnomics.

2As part of the Wellnomics WorkPace software which has sold over one million licenses worldwide.

3For examples of management reports, see data sheet Management Reporting with the Wellnomics Portal.