A pilot study of prevalence and distributions of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS) among paper based office workers in Bangladesh

Work. 2015;50(3):371-8. doi: 10.3233/WOR-151993.


Background: The prevalence of MSS among office workers is high worldwide, having a significant effect on medical costs, absenteeism, and quality of life. In Bangladesh, there are many office workers but there is no data on the prevalence and impact of MSS.

Objective: The aim of this pilot study was to determine the prevalence and distribution of MSS among paper based office workers from one local office in order to determine whether or not an ergonomic intervention is required and the focus of the intervention needed.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 200 paper based office workers using a proportional stratified random sample. The Standardized Nordic Questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence and distribution of MSS. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16.0.

Results: The mean age of the respondents was 43.0 years with a mean of 12.0 years work experience. 76.0% (n=152) of the respondents reported having MSS during the last 12 months. MSS complaints were reported primarily in the lower back region. 40.5% (n=81) of the respondents reported interruption of their normal daily activities within the last 12 months reportedly due to MSS.

Conclusion: The current study showed the high prevalence rate of MSS among office workers in one workplace in Bangladesh. This was a pilot study, but it suggests that there is likely a need for further study into office workers' work sites and work practices to prevent work related injuries.

Keywords: Activities of daily livings (ADLs); future studies; impact of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS).

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Administrative Personnel*
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult