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O37-5 Individual and job related risk factors for musculoskeletal pain among sewing machine operators
  1. Eda Merisalu1,
  2. Kadi Hiir1,
  3. Mona Männaste1,
  4. Ada Traumann2
  1. 1Institute of Technology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia
  2. 2University of Applied Sciences, Tallinn, Estonia


The aim of study was to analyse relationships between individual and job related risk factors and prevalence of musculoskeletal pain among sewing machine operators. The target group was completed of 130 workers from the sewing industry in North-East Estonia. The anonymous e-questionnaire was carried out to analyse the main individual and job related factors and localisation of musculoskeletal pain in different body regions in the past 12 months. Study group was completed by 57 respondents. The response rate was 48.3%. All the participants were female in average age 44.4 ± 8.6 years and most of them had job experience more than 5 years. About half of them had overweight, with average body-mass index (BMI) 26.8 ± 6.5 kg/m2. Sewing machine operators’ work is monotonous, in sitting position, with repetitive bending movements of elbow, wrist and fingers. The dominative risk factors for the sewing operators were: high autonomy over work activities and working under stress because of short deadlines and to finish the assignments by a fixed time. More than half of participants had pain in lower back, neck and wrist. Usually pain in three and more body regions was reported. The pain with duration 1–6 days for lower back and neck was mentioned by 47.1% and 31.6%, accordingly. BMI correlated positively with lower back and elbow pain. High autonomy was in positive correlation with pain in lower back (p = 0.02) and elbow (p = 0.01). Repetitive bending and extending of elbow was in positive correlation with pain in both neck and wrist (p = 0.05). In conclusion, associations between individual and job related factors and musculoskeletal pain were observed among sewing machine operators. So, regular breaks and less stress because of deadlines and high work pace could be the main organisational activities provided in the sewing industry.

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