Prevalence of shoulder musculoskeletal disorders among school teachers: A systematic review

  • Zingisa Z. Nyawose
  • Rowena Naidoo
Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorders, Shoulder injuries, School teachers.


Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) represent the second-most common cause of disability worldwide. Teachers have a higher prevalence of MSDs. The resultant medical care has financial implications. The purpose of this study was to quantify the prevalence of and risk factors associated with, shoulder MSD among teachers across various countries. Peer-reviewed literature was extensively researched using different search engines which included PubMed, Science Direct, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Scopus. A total of 44 studies were identified, of which 18 were found to be relevant after a review of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The prevalence of shoulder MSD among teachers ranges between 15% and 83.1%, varying among countries. The highest prevalence of shoulder MSD was reported in South Africa at 83.1%, followed by China with a prevalence of 73.4%. The average prevalence of shoulder MSD was determined to be 58% (95% CI=0.54-0.62). Associated risk factors as reported by previous studies included age, gender, previous injury, psychosocial factors, length of employment and time spent writing on the blackboard. Relative risk calculation reported that females are 1.40 likely to develop shoulder MSD than males (95% CI=1.31-1.50). Future research should focus on interventions to prevent and manage shoulder MSD among teachers.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorders; Shoulder injuries; School teachers.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069