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Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jan;11(1):32-6. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.32462.

Musculoskeletal problems among workers of an Iranian communication company.

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Dept. of Occupational Health, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box: 71645-111, Shiraz, Iran.



Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are a common health problem throughout the world and a major cause of disability in the workplace. Awkward working posture is a main risk factor for developing WMSDs. Assessment of exposure level to WMSDs risks can be an appropriate base for planning and implementing interventional ergonomics program in the workplace. This study was conducted among workers of an Iranian communication company with the objectives of a) determination of WMSDs prevalence and b) assessment of exposure level to WMSDs risks.


In this cross-sectional study, 85 randomly selected workers from assembly line and closed circuit TV (CCTV) participated. Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire (NMQ) was used to study prevalence of WMSDs and rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) technique was applied to assess physical exposure to the risks.


The results of NMQ revealed that WMSDs occurred at an high rate. The highest rates of WMSDs prevalence were reported in shoulders (73%), knees (67.1%) and back (66.7%). RULA showed that the Grand Score of 88.1% of cases were high and very high (action levels 3 and 4). Significant association was found between risk level and musculoskeletal symptoms in lower back (P < 0.05).


Given the association between RULA score and the prevalence of the problems, reducing RULA score by designing ergonomic workstation may reduce the prevalence of WMSDs among the workers.


Assembly workers; communication industry; rapid upper limb assessment technique; work-related musculoskeletal disorders

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