Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Cashew-Nut Shelling Workers in India

  • Krishna Chaitanya Mallampalli
  • Debayan DharEmail author
  • Swati Pal
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1215)


Cashew-nut shelling is an important operation in cashew industries in India. The work of Cashew-Nut Shelling Workers (CNSWs) is characterized by repetitive movements, prolonged standing, and awkward working posture. However, CNSWs are understudied worker population with respect to musculoskeletal health and risk factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 150 CNSWs in cashew industries across three states of India. The objectives of the study are to identify the prevalence of musculoskeletal (MS) disorders and associated risk factors among CNSWs in cashew industries in India. The data were collected using a questionnaire via the standardized Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) and by direct observations of working posture (Rapid Entire Body Assessment [REBA] method) to determine ergonomic risks. The highest prevalence of MS disorders was mainly found in knees (56.0%), lower back (53.3%), shoulders (48.0%), and hands/wrists (47.3%). The REBA grand score (4–7) indicated that most CNSWs’ postures were at medium risk level, necessitating further investigation and changes to their working habits and workstations to decrease the level of risk. In addition, the results of multivariate logistic regression models revealed that work-related factors including work experience (>5 years) and working posture, were significantly associated with MS disorders in different body regions. Individual factors including gender (being female), age, and educational level, were also associated with the occurrence of musculoskeletal complaints. These study results indicate the prevalence of MS disorders and emphasize the need for ergonomic design interventions for the prevention of MS disorders among these working populations.


Musculoskeletal (MS) disorders Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) Cashew-Nut Shelling Workers (CNSWs) Cashew industry 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishna Chaitanya Mallampalli
    • 1
  • Debayan Dhar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Swati Pal
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of DesignIndian Institute of Technology (IIT) GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia
  2. 2.Industrial Design CenterIndian Institute of Technology (IIT) BombayPowaiIndia

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