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Work-related musculoskeletal discomfort of dairy farmers and employed workers

Lunner Kolstrup, Christina (2012). Work-related musculoskeletal discomfort of dairy farmers and employed workers. Journal of occupational medicine and toxicology. 7
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1745-6673-7-23

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dairy farming is physically demanding and associated with a high frequency of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). This study investigated and compared work-related MSD, ergonomic work factors and physical exertion in farmers and employed farm workers on dairy farms in Sweden. Methods: The study comprised 66 dairy farmers, and 37 employed dairy farm workers. A modified version of the general Standardised Nordic Questionnaire was used for analyses of perceived MSD in nine different parts of the body. Perceived physical discomfort was assessed using questions concerning ergonomic work factors. A rating scale was used for analyses of perceived physical exertion. Information about participant demographics was also collected. The response rate amounted to 70%.

RESULTS: The most frequently reported MSD in farmers and farm workers were located in the lower back (50% and 43%, respectively) and the shoulders (47% and 43%, respectively). MSD were also frequently reported in the neck (33%) among farmers, and in the hands/wrist (41%) among farm workers. MSD in the elbows (23%) and feet (21%) were significantly more frequently reported by farmers than farm workers (5%). Female farmers and farm workers both reported significantly higher frequencies of MSD in the neck (48% and 56%, respectively) and hands/wrists (44% and 61%, respectively) than their male colleagues (24% and 5%; 10% and 21%, respectively). In addition, female farm workers had significantly higher reported frequencies of MSD in the upper and lower back (39% and 61%, respectively) than their male counterparts (5% and 26%, respectively). Milking was perceived as a weakly to moderately physically demanding work task. Repetitive and monotonous work in dairy houses was the ergonomic work factor most frequently reported as causing physically discomfort among farmers (36%) and farm workers (32%), followed by lifting heavy objects (17% and 27%, respectively). Female workers had significantly more reported discomfort from repetitive and monotonous work than their male counterparts (50% and 16%, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Despite the technical developments on modern dairy farms, there is still a high prevalence of MSD and discomfort from ergonomic work factors, particularly among female workers.

Authors/Creators:Lunner Kolstrup, Christina
Title:Work-related musculoskeletal discomfort of dairy farmers and employed workers
Series/Journal:Journal of occupational medicine and toxicology (1745-6673)
Year of publishing :2012
Volume:7
Number of Pages:9
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1745-6673
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E10 Agricultural economics and policies
E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E12 Labour and employment
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Agricultural Occupational Health and Safety
Keywords:Ergonomic work factors , Work environment, Physical exertion, Dairy farming, Milking, Agriculture, Questionnaire, Rating scale
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1528
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1528
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1186/1745-6673-7-23
ID Code:10566
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Work Science, Business Economics, and Environmental Psychology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:02 Jul 2013 14:41
Metadata Last Modified:16 Feb 2016 10:27

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