The Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Problems in Architects
Aim: Architects are required to work on a computer for several hours a day which mainly requires sitting in prolonged static postures, along with bending and flexing the neck which might put strain on the back, cervical and wrist area.The purpose of the study was to identify the prevalence of common musculoskeletal problems in Architects.
Methodology: A community based cross-sectional survey was conducted on 106 architects working for more than 2 years by administering the Extended Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire to quantify the musculoskeletal pain and activity limitations in 9 body regions. A Self-Designed Questionnaire was administered aiming at getting information regarding the various musculoskeletal problems faced by architects, various postured attained and activities performed throughout the day.
Results: Out of total architects investigated, 80% architects experienced musculoskeletal pain. Neck, lower back and shoulders were the most commonly affected body regions. The results showed that the work-related risk factors like arms below shoulder activities (77.4%), frequent bending (41.5%), arms above shoulder activities (25.5%), twisting (17.9%) and awkward postures were highly associated with musculoskeletal disorders.
Conclusion: The study concluded that there was 80% prevalence of musculoskeletal problems in Architects. Neck was the most commonly affected body region followed by low-back, shoulder and upper back. Majority of architects required to work on computer in continuous sitting and also required to perform arm activity below shoulder level and bending constantly which may have contributed to the high prevalence of workrelated musculoskeletal disorders in this population. The study also concluded that the implementation of ergonomic intervention strategies at the workplace may eliminate ergonomic hazards and minimize the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
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