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Background: Improper work postures have been associated with many detrimental health outcomes including musculoskeletal disorders. Emerging evidence however suggests that some of these health concerns may be lessened by reducing sedentary behaviour at work. Musculoskeletal disorders have been ranked top among the most prevalent health problems relating directly to working conditions.
Aim: This study was thus aimed at determining the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorder symptoms and their relationship with work posture among staff of the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross sectional design was used in conducting this study among academic and non-academic staff of the University of Port Harcourt. 256 study participants were involved in this study. They were selected using the multistage sampling technique. A self-administered semi-structured questionnaire was the study instrument. Collected data was transferred to the Microsoft Excel (2016) software for cleaning and coding. The Statistical Package for Social Science was used for analysis of the data. Descriptive and inferential statistics were computed and statistical significance was set at <0.05.
Results: Majority 172 (54.3%) of the respondents had experienced musculoskeletal pain that involved the head, neck, back and other regions of their bodies. Also, a statistically significant association was found to exist between work posture and the occurrence of pelvic and perineal pain. Dynamic postures while working was found to offer a protective effect against the occurrence of thoracic and abdominal pain (O.R. = 0.88).
Conclusion and Recommendations: Work-related musculoskeletal disorder symptoms were found to be prevalent in this study. The relationship between work postures and the identified symptoms among the staff was also established. It was recommended that health information on alternation between sitting and standing working postures be passed on to staff working in the study area as well as a redesigning of the work-stations of the staff to adopt ergonomic standards necessary for preventing the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
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