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Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Saskatchewan Farmers.

McMillan M, et al. J Agromedicine. 2015.


The extent of the musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) problem is not well understood among Canadian farmers, and little too is known about their epidemiology. The purpose of this study was therefore to (1) determine the prevalence of MSDs among farmers in one Canadian province; and (2) describe the types and severities of these disorders and patterns in their occurrence. This cross-sectional analysis was conducted using baseline survey data from the Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study. Reports of MSDs, demographic and health-related variables, reports of farm-related injuries, and economic conditions of individual farms were available for 2595 adult participants from 1212 farms in Saskatchewan, Canada. Relationships between MSDs and time spent doing farm work were investigated using tests of association. The participation rate was 48.8%. Most (85.6%) of participants reported having musculoskeletal pain in at least one body part over the past year. The lower back was most frequently affected (57.7%), followed by shoulders (44.0%), and neck (39.6%). More serious pain prevented 27.9% of respondents from performing regular work activities. MSD prevalence did not vary by sex, commodity type, or by total hours of farm work completed; prevalence was significantly (P < .05) related to time spent performing biomechanically demanding tasks such as heavy lifting and working with arms overhead. The most common MSD site in farmers was the low back, followed by the upper and then lower extremities. Although this study aimed to identify high-risk groups, lack of differences between demographic groups suggests that the majority of farmers are at risk for MSDs.


26237719 [Indexed for MEDLINE]
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