Musculoskeletal disorders and stress among footwear industry workers

Work. 2017;56(1):67-73. doi: 10.3233/WOR-162463.


Background: Manufacturing footwear requires intense manual labor and high repetitions with low variability in function that may lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) symptoms and psychological stress.

Objective: To evaluate a potential association between musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and perceived stress among footwear industry workers.

Methods: The Nordic General Questionnaire (NGQ) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) were completed by 357 footwear industry workers. The association between MSD and perceived stress was evaluated using the Chi-Square test and Odds Ratios along with their 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI) were calculated.

Results: The twelve-month prevalence of MSD symptoms among the respondents was 66% (n = 236) and the symptoms were significantly associated with perceived stress (p = 0.002, OR: 10, 95% CI: 1.7 to 60.6). The seven-day prevalence of MSD symptoms was 33% and the symptoms were also significantly associated with perceived stress (p = 0.001, OR: 2.7, 95% CI:0.8 to 9.3). The association between perceived stress and MSD symptoms indicates a strong association between MSD symptoms and perceived stress levels.

Conclusion: Considering that these problems are important determinants of worker's health, a combined approach to reduce both stress and MSD symptoms is necessary for prevention and health promotion in the footwear industry.

Keywords: Cumulative trauma disorders; occupational health; risk factors; stress..

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brazil
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities* / statistics & numerical data
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / psychology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Perception*
  • Prevalence
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Shoes / statistics & numerical data
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Workforce
  • Workplace / psychology
  • Workplace / standards
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data