The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in long-distance bus drivers
Background: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) contribute to poor posture and prolonged stress and strain due to work demands and the environment.
Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of WRMSDs in long-distance bus drivers.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted to determine the prevalence of WRMSDs among male long-distance bus drivers. Eighty-nine participants were selected from a reputable bus company in Pretoria to participate in the study. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was used to determine self-reported WRMSDs.
Results: The average age of the participants was 45 years, with a mean height and weight of 1.69 m and 85.4 kg respectively. Participants in the study had a mean body mass index of 29.9 kg.m-2, categorising them as overweight. From the bus drivers who reported WRMSDs due to driving (22%), most of the pain was noted in the upper back (44%), followed by lower back (42%), neck (42%), shoulder (37%), and wrist/hand (31%). A strong, positive association existed between ankle and knee pain using Kendall’s tau-b correlation (τb = .71, p = .0001). A moderate and positive association was further noted between pain in the neck/shoulder (τb = .59, p = .0001) and upper back/shoulder (τb = .59, p = .0001).
Conclusion: The greatest proportion of pain was experienced along the axial skeleton in long-distance bus drivers. Upper back pain was the most prevalent of the WRMSDs reported in these drivers.
Keywords: maladroit postures; musculoskeletal pain; kinetic chain; axial skeleton; appendicular skeleton