ISSN 2330-717X

Prevalence Of Musculoskeletal Disorders In Sports Industries Workers – Analysis


Musculoskeletal disorders are described asphysical work exercises or working environment conditions on the task that are liable to cause or adding injuries to the tendon muscles, ligaments and spinal disc. Sports industry workers are under high risk of getting musculoskeletal injuries.  


The aim of the research is to find out the Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Sports Industries Workers. It was the cross-sectional survey. Sample size was 300. In this research, convenient sampling technique was used to collect data. NORDIC scale was used to see the musculoskeletal injuries and visual analog scale was used to check the pain intensity. A worker was selected on basis of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data was analyzed with the help of SPSS version 23.  Research highlights the mean age of workers was 32.69 with SD 8.594. In addition, there was 84.3% was male and 15.7% was female. Most of the workers work in sitting position rather than standing 59.3% and 40.7% respectively.  the overall frequency of musculoskeletal injuries was 41.7% out of which the most common region involved was lumber region 12.6% followed by neck 4.7%. It was also observed that upper limb is affected more than lower limb.

Research concludes the lower back region was the most discomfort and injured area among the factory workers followed by neck and upper limb. Lumber region was most affected due to lifting of heavy load and poor working posture. As these working class in not much aware of correct ergonomic posture, so there is much chances of injury to lower back. 

Musculoskeletal disorders are defined in the assignment as physical job exercises or working situations that may cause or add injury to the tendon muscles, ligaments and spinal disks (1). For a percentage of the running population, musculoskeletal disorders are a typical, high-priced health problem (2).

Work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) affect all components of the body, especially the neck, back, upper limbs and lower limbs, the characteristics of physical motion and the ergonomic and mechanical outline of the work. (3).

Musculoskeletal disorders involve structural tears, strains, sprains, pain and tendinitis. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety, countless epidemiological studies have confirmed proof of a basic connection between physical work and musculoskeletal related work problems.(4).


Exposure to variables composed of repeated and exceptional replication of strong movements, unwilling or sustained working position, and distressing shoulder, hand or palm trembling are related to musculoskeletal disorder (5,6). 

Maximum musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are defined as multifactorial in assessing many occupational diseases that originate from exposure to accurate dangerous agents. (7).

Because of the lack of work related requirements and the limitation of the physical condition of the human body depending on the body’s movement potential, mechanical or ergonomic. Work related musculoskeletal illnesses can result in severe injuries such as bone breakage that can occur in a working setting with many other issues. With many other issues that may take a long time to cure results from repeated introduction to raise or reduce the energy stack over an extended period of time (8).  

In different occupations, MSDs occur not only confined to restricted occupations, but also the occupation and workplace with figures 3 to 4 times greater than the overall abundance. These jobs include nursing, transportation, restaurants, leather factories and other automotive, furniture, home appliances, electrical, sports and clothing sectors(4). In occupations involving office work, letter administration, physical or exhausting severe occupation or occupations where mechanical tool work is often used, the upper body’s musculoskeletal limb is more susceptible to injury and its incidence proportion is high.(9)

Body activity functions that can frequently be identified as hazardous components for musculoskeletal disorders, built mainly on individual research understanding and epidemiological studies, include rapid progressive effort and dreary motion designs ; deficient recovery time ; difficult work and intense manual effort.(10). One of the elevated incidences of taxi riders is that they are susceptible to low back pain (11). Users of computer mouse are also prevalent in shoulders, neck and elbow for musculoskeletal disorders (12). Massage practitioners are also included as an occupation that can lead to musculoskeletal pain (13).

Musculoskeletal disorders are common among countless countries that affect practical life significantly. However, musculoskeletal disorders related to working circumstances are one of the biggest categories of workers in AMERICA, NORDIC COUNTRIES, JAPAN.(14)Six hundred thousand employees recorded WRMDs because they remained away from job in the United States alone. In a study carried out, workers in Taiwan recorded 37% incidence of WRMDS (15). England’s executive released a report stating that 1.0 million had WRMDs annually at a price of 5.7 billion pounds to society (16). Different reviews of working populations have announced a 20 to 30 percent or much greater incidence of the furthest point side effect. Work related musculoskeletal disorder has been shown to be the reason for absent or incapable of performing work properly in countries such as the United Kingdom or countries in Europe such as Sweden or even countries such as AMERICA (17).

Because of the elevated frame stress associated with the preparation of raw foods, cooks are at high chances for MSDs (18) numerous examinations have confirmed musculoskeletal disorders among distinct labor meetings, focusing, for instance, on specific anatomical regions, data section experts with high risk of specific muscle issues. (19). One research discovered that challenging working conditions such as insufficient rest during cooking could also be exposing factors that lead to MSDs (20). WMSDs are accounted for as having a significant effect on private satisfaction, becoming the cause of loss or truancy in working time, or moving to some other activities (21)


Musculoskeletal pain: 

Agony arising from muscles, bones tendons or ligaments.


The aggregate number of instances of a given sickness in a predefined populace at an assigned time. It is separated from INCIDENCE, which alludes to the quantity of new cases in the populace at a time

A research undertaken in the sugar sector showed that the total number of staff in various kinds of musculoskeletal disorder had endured nearly 87.1 percent prior to the research. The knees (58.6%) showed MSD’s largest incidence followed by the lower back (54.3%). Maximum number of staff 99.1 percent, the risk with quality exposure check for musculoskeletal disorder was very high. Poor postures, peak time standing with awkward posture and stance and manual handling of material were the main ergonomics problems. So, this plant had a high level of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The amount of exposure to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) was elevated and remedial activities were crucial to reduce the risk level (22).

A research performed on 246 cashew factory staff showed that the sample’s 28.5 percent (n= 70) complained about pain and discomfort and the remaining 71.5 percent complained about no pain. The knee pain complained about the peak (n= 22; 32.4 percent), which was followed by backbone pain of 30.9 percent and its 11.8 percent of employees for upper extremity pain. Approximately 70 percent of independents reporting MSK disorder had over five years of work experience. In the cutting category, 68.6% (n=48) of the laboratories reported agony and pain, and in the grading category there were 17%, and in the boiling unit 8.6%, while in the peeling class 5.7 %.(23).

A study in Taiwan reported a comparatively high incidence of WMSDs among hotel restaurant employees, showing that out of 905 participants participated in studies in which the incidence of the shoulder area was 57.9%, 54% of the area of the throat and 52.7% of the area of the lumbar / abdomen impacted and influenced regions contrasted and other body regions (22.3–46.5). (3).

A research was carried out on staff of the fish processing industry to evaluate the incidence of shoulder and upper extremity disease and to measure the related risk factors for ergonomics. In order to decide musculoskeletal disorders of 201 experts in 8 separate manufacturing plants, a specified interview and occupation studies were carried out. As a consequence, it was discovered that shoulder pain was the most prevalent disease 30.9%, while carpel tunnel syndrome and epicondylitis were 15% and 14.5% respectively. It was also found that more prone to musculoskeletal issues were untrained and untalented works.

A cross-sectional study was conducted in China between 2008 and 2009, involving 3479 staff from 60 separate factories. Based on the Nordic scale of factory workers, they calculated the annual incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorder. In the past 12 months, 8.3 percent of all involved employees revealed severe traumatic injuries.

The risk of discomfort was decreased for female employees with an odds ratio of 0.48 and those with greater academic levels, but employees with 55 hours of job per week had an unusual ratio of OR 1.64, elevated mental stress at job OR: 3.50 and prior injury history OR: 3.94. The threat of musculoskeletal illnesses among female employees has risen (OR: 1.58; 95 percent CI: 1.34–1.87) and those with more than 55 hours of job per week (OR: 1.56; 95 percent CI: 1.28–1.90), elevated mental pressure at job (OR: 3.16; 95 percent CI: 2.04–4.89) and previous injury history (OR: 3.04; 95 percent CI: 2.14–4.32) (24).

A research performed in Iran’s rubber factory workers showed that the majority of employees reported pain in the lower back 50.2 percent and 48.5 percent in the ankles, while 38.1 percent in the upper back. The statistical assessment showed an important connection between the risk level of quality exposure control and the symptoms of musculoskeletal disease, which was 85.5%. The highest incidence was 50.2% in the reduced back area and 48.5% in knee joints while 38.1% in the upper thoracic. In the 85.5 percent of the workers studied, the quality exposure check score was high or very high. The most prevalent ergonomics issues discovered in this research were awkward posture and manual material handling.(25).

Another job in the garment industry demonstrated a 61.71 percent incidence of MSK disorder. The body areas engaged in the work-related musculoskeletal disease in this research were 17.9% shoulders and 15.2% wood area and 13.8% cervical and 10.8% knee joint. Operators in the cutting unit experienced in the back 15.4 percent and 11.5 percent in the lower limb disease. While the employees involved in lower limb pain were 12.4 percent in the sewing segment and 8.5 percent in the back discomfort and 7.7 percent in the upper limb participation. 50% had reduced limb pain in the finishing hand and 50% of employees in the quality control group had experienced back pain. Most employees complain about various regional pains n=155. (26).

Another research was conducted in the kitchen employee on musculoskeletal indications illnesses in seven body areas. Information on musculoskeletal pain in the throat, shoulders, reduced arms / hands, lumbar, hip area, both ankles and reduced legs and feet was gathered by 495 female employees with regard to the ergonomic intercession of four urban kitchens in Finland. The study duration of any musculoskeletal torment lasted for three months was 87%, the most commonly known area showing an impact of musculoskeletal disease was the neck with a prevalence of 71%, the region of the lumbar or low back and the region of arms or hands showed a prevalence of 49%. Approximately 73% of subjects experienced torment in no less than two areas, 36% of each at least four, and 10% of each 6–7 locations In the case of pain, which is any agony in the axial area comprising the lumbar area, upper body areas and reduced limb areas, subjects experienced concomitant torment in each of the three.This included the reply of 36% of all respondents. So found that there were 53% of those participants who claimed that axial and upper limb areas had pain, while 48% of participants showed that they had pain in their axial and lower body areas. (18). 


The current research was done on musculoskeletal disorders among sports industry workers. Still in third world countries like Pakistan the concept of safety at working place is not well the ratio of injuries is much more. In present study the overall frequency of musculoskeletal disorders was 41.7%. The lumber spine is the most affected region 12.7% due to lifting of heavy load and improper working position. Neck 4.7% and upper limb including shoulder 4.7%, elbow 2.7 % and wrist and had 3.0% was affected more than lower limb including hip 3.7% knee 3.3% and foot ankle was 3.0%. In current study the pain intensity was noted by visual analog scale. It was shown that 58% of workers respond no pain while 21.7% of workers complained about mild pain and 15% told about moderate pain while 5.3 respond about sever pain. It is also concluded that workers working in sitting position 59.3% experienced more discomfort than standing position 40.7%. workers involved in mechanical 68.7% work was experienced less pain than workers who were working manually 31.3% as p value is less than 0.005 the results are significant. 

A work published by Bashir and his co-workers in 2016 on work related musculoskeletal disorders among butchers. It was the cross-sectional study and data was obtained by 102 male butchers. Nordic questionnaire was used in this study. The result showed that the main complain in lower back region 66.7%. Following lower back the second most discomfort complain in wrist and hand that was 45.1%. While in current study of workers in sports industry the lower back pain was commonest 12.7% (28).

Fernandes and his team were worked on musculoskeletal disorders of plastic factory workers in 2011. Their results showed that there was no difference in prevalence of lower back pain 21.4% each. It was also noted that the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in other regions was higher in female than males. But in present study the ratio of musculoskeletal disorders was higher among males than females (29). 

Adamu Saidu published their work on prevalence of MSK injuries among factory workers in Kano Nigeria in 2011. It was the cross-sectional study and self-made questionnaire was used in that study. Their result showed that lower back pain was the highest prevalence that were 85.71% followed by upper limb injuries 40.71%. It was also showed that about 40% had complained about 2 or more region discomfort. The results almost similar to present study on prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries among sports factory workers as most common region involved is lower back followed by neck and our study almost 27.3% of workers complaint about two or more than two regions problems (30). 

Haq SA, and his colleagues worked on prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among clothe industry worker in Bangladesh. It was the cross-sectional survey that was included 350 factory workers. In this study the COPCORD (Community Oriented Program for Control of Rheumatic Disorders) methodology was used. In this study shoulder was the most common region the prevalence of shoulder discomfort was 17.9 followed by lower back 15.2% neck pain was reported by 13.8% and knee pain was 10.8%. While in present study the NORDIC questionnaire was used shoulder problem was reported by on 4.3% and neck 4.7% the lower back was the most 12.7% and elbow discomfort was the least 2.7% only (31).

Beak and colleagues published their results in 2017 on musculoskeletal disease on heavy industrial workers. It was retrospective cohort study. In this study lumber pain was reported as the most common (31.1%) and in my study it was 12.7%. In Beak study lumber followed by shoulder 19.4% and in our study next to lumber spine it was neck 4.7% followed by shoulder 4.3% only (32).

On the whole, it is concluded that the lower back region was the most discomfort and injured area among the factory workers followed by neck and upper limb. Lumber region was most affected due to lifting of heavy load and poor working posture. As these working class in not much aware of correct ergonomic posture, so there is much chances of injury to lower back. Different seminar and awareness programs should have to arrange to educate the working class. 

*About the authors:

  • Dr. Muhammad Muzammil, Physiotherapist Consultant Physiotherapist, Hassan Surgimed Hospital Zafarwal
  • Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Nasir, (MS Orthopaedics) Consultant Orthopedic surgeon, DHQ Hospital Narowal
  • Dr. Faraz Noor, Assistant Professor Orthopedic, Sahara Hospital Narowal



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