Musculoskeletal symptoms and job satisfaction among office-workers: a cross-sectional study from Iran

Acta Med Acad. 2013;42(1):46-54. doi: 10.5644/ama2006-124.70.


Objective: Office-work poses a high-risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), with consequences for workers, employers and society. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms in a sample of Iranian office workers, to investigate the association between pain severity and job satisfaction and to investigate the association between MSDs and job satisfaction.

Materials and methods: Iranian office workers from a university setting (n=91) were randomly selected and included in this cross-sectional study. The Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire plus visual analogue scale of pain, and the Brayfield-Rothe Job Satisfaction Index were used to study the prevalence of MSDs, pain intensity and job satisfaction, respectively. Descriptive analysis, Pearson's correlation, and multiple regression analysis were performed for statistical assessment.

Results: Eighty-nine percent of participants reported musculoskeletal symptoms during the past 12 months, most commonly in the neck (69.2%), low back (58.2%), knees (41.8%), shoulders (35.2%), and upper back (34.1%). There was a significant negative correlation between pain intensity and job satisfaction. Pain intensity, low-back pain in the last week, wrist pain in the past 12 months and shoulder pain were significantly associated with job satisfaction (p<0.05).

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that musculoskeletal symptoms are common in Iranian office workers, associated with low job satisfaction. These findings indicate the need for more attention to MSDs among office workers and designing effective preventive interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Measurement / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data