Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Iranian Office Workers: Prevalence and Risk Factors

J Med Life. 2018 Oct-Dec;11(4):328-333. doi: 10.25122/jml-2018-0054.


Objective: This study aimed to identify the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and ergonomic risks for Kerman University of Medical Sciences' office workers. Methods: The study sample comprised all office workers in the University and the sample included 129 women and 121 men. Data on MSDs were derived from the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire, while ergonomic data were collected through two direct observations via the rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) and the rapid office strain assessment (ROSA) method. Results: The results showed that the highest prevalence rates of MSDs were in the lower back (72.4%) and neck (55.2). Results of the postural assessment revealed that 68.8% of the participants' require "further investigation in order to modify their posture" and 27.6% need to "modify their posture soon." From the workstation analysis, the majority of the office workers were at a medium (55.2%) and high-risk level (27.6%). Results also revealed a significant association between some of MSDs in the lower back and neck with the RULA and ROSA score. Conclusions: Based on the results, for the prevention of MSDs, there should be ergonomics workshops for workers to be aware of ergonomics factors in the office. The ergonomics training must also be used in offices; the design of workstations should be improved.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorder; ROSA; RULA; office workers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Posture
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work*
  • Young Adult