Introduction Musculoskeletal disorders occupy the first place among occupational and work-related diseases in Estonia, Europe and many other countries in the world. The field has been widely studied, however, due to the specificities of work environment as well as cultural environment, development mechanisms of diseases are somewhat different. The aim of the research was to elaborate the conceptual model for prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders which enable the possibility to the occupational health doctors to elaborate prevention and rehabilitation activities from badly organised workplace ergonomics.
Methods 505 people (office and garment industry workers) participated in the study. The comparison group consisted of patients with occupational diseases. For a questionnaire survey, the study participants filled out the Nordic Questionnaire for Analysis of Musculoskeletal Symptoms and Work Ability Index (WAI) questionnaire; pain assessment took place with the Pain Visual Analogue Scale. Muscle stiffness and frequency were measured myotonometrically. The Student’s t-test was used. The statistical significance of the t-test was p=0.005. Univariate analysis, correlation, analysis, parametric and nonparametric tests were applied in SPSS. The Shapiro-Wilk test, Pearson’s Chi-Square test, Likelihood Ratio, Fisher*s Exact test and the Linear-by-Linear association test were used in the process of elaborating the model.
Results Most painful body regions (in neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and back) correlated to pain duration (four stages), pain severity, age of workers and three stages of MSDs in preventive and rehabilitative medical activities. The novelty: the right hand of office workers is more painful than the left one; garment workers’ both hands are painful to the same extent.
Conclusion The current research contributes to the elaboration of the conceptual model which enables the occupational health doctors to workout the basis for prevention of MSDs and rehabilitation from MSDs caused by the poorly organised workplace ergonomics.
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