A Deeper Dive into Mental Workload Implications Amidst Digital Design Tasks Among Designers Afflicted with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Kodsiah Mohd Juzad1,2, Shamsul Bahri Mohd Tamrin 1*, Ng Yee Guan1, Rozanah Ab. Rahman  3 , Norashiken Othman 4, Siti Hawa Mohd Kasmuri 5, Haris Rashli 6

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 1

Policy Division, Ministry of Human Resources, Level 7, Setia Perkasa 3, Setia Perkasa Complex, Federal Government Administrative Centre, Putrajaya, 62530 Putrajaya, Malaysia 2

School of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 3

School of Manufacturing Engineering, University Malaysia Perlis, Pauh Putra Campus, 02600 Arau, Perlis, Malaysia 4

Department of Industrial Relations Malaysia (Ministry of Human Resources),  Level 9, Setia Perkasa 4, Setia Perkasa Complex, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62530 Putrajaya, Malaysia 5

Lambert High School, Suwanee, Georgia 30024, United States of America 6

shamsul_bahri@upm.edu.my 1*

Page 50 – 63   |   Vol. 8 No. 2 2023   |    Available online on 30 Dec 2023


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common occupational condition affecting designers and other professionals who work long hours working with computers. The aim of this study is to assess the risk of CTS for mental workload in designers who have been diagnosed with the symptoms of CTS. In this experimental study on image editing for Mood Board, the risk of mental workload was measured using NASA Task Load Index (TLX) instruments.

A total of 17 designers from different design disciplines participated in this study and ranked “Effort” first in both pre- and post-assessment of NASA TLX in the Image Processing for Mood Board task. This study found that designers who scored more than 60 MWL points on this NASA TLX assessment were significantly associated with mental distress with a P-value of 0.029. The high MWL score on the NASA TLX assessment was strongly associated with mental workload. Significant correlations were observed between higher MWL scores and mental distress, spotlighting the necessity for ergonomic interventions and workload management strategies to alleviate the CTS symptoms’ detrimental effects.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, NASA Task Load Index (TLX), Mental Workload, Designers

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Human Factors & Ergonomics Journal (HFEJ), eISSN: 2590-3705  is the official Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Malaysia.  The journal is published on a biannual basis. HFEJ aims to address current research in the field of Ergonomics in addition to the broad coverage of cognitive ergonomics, user experience, physical ergonomics and others such as transportation, industrial design and industrial engineering. HFEJ is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), as such we only accept original work.