Epidemiology of work-related musculoskeletal disorders

Orthop Clin North Am. 1996 Oct;27(4):679-709.


Musculoskeletal disorders are common in the United States. Although precise estimates are not available, most researchers agree that exposure to a combination of work place risk factors is a major contributor to these disorders. Along with personal factors (age, gender, etc.). Epidemiologic studies of workers have associated these disorders with many work-place physical and psychosocial factors. Specific physical factors associated with these disorders include intense, repeated, or sustained exertions, awkward, sustained, or extreme postures of the body, insufficient recovery time, vibration, and cold temperatures. Specific examples of work-place psychosocial factors include monotonous work, time pressure, high work load, lack of peer support, and a poor supervisor-employee relationship.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Elbow Joint
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Neck Pain / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoulder Joint
  • Syndrome
  • Tendinopathy / epidemiology
  • Vibration / adverse effects
  • Workplace
  • Wrist Joint