Why Do Information Technology Professionals Develop Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders? A Study of Risk Factors
Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WRMSD) are highly prevalent among Information Technology (IT) professionals. A prospective analysis of 8200 IT Professionals (age 20 to 60 years, mean 33 years, 74% males), in an Industrially Developing Country was conducted. The employees were evaluated by a detailed questionnaire consisting of demographic data, job details, health status, physical risk factors, short-form Work Style Questionnaire and Nordic Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire. pain (36%). Musculoskeletal problems increased the fatigue levels as recorded by Borg CR-10 scale. 76% of the employees were diagnosed by an experienced occupational health physician to have a WRMSD, among which 65% of the employees were laptop users. 78% had widespread body pain, 72% neck pain, 63% lower back pain, 52% shoulder pain and others with upper arm, thigh, knee and foot pain. Increasing age, high Body Mass Index, longer working hours, hazardous body postures, static loading, resting elbows and wrists on hard surfaces, and adverse work-style were positively correlated (r < 0.01) with the presence of WRMSD. On the other hand, rest breaks during work, regular exercises and formal ergonomics training were negatively correlated (r < −0.01).