Research: The Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders by Occupational Group and Body Region
Awards: Participant- Westlake 2019, Innovations in Biological Sciences Research Award- WESEF 2021, Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021
Mentor: Charlotte Kleiman
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are common, costly, neuromusculoskeletal conditions often caused or aggravated by work activities and environmental factors. Because different occupations have different ergonomic environments, trends of MSD prevalence vary by occupation. This study aimed to investigate MSD prevalence by occupation and body region across multiple datasets. Nine datasets from Figshare and Mendeley online repositories were searched. The search utilized keywords for occupational group and method of MSD measurement, restricting results only to data from the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. After filtering and modifications, data was analyzed through descriptive statistics, Chi-squared tests for independence, and the Marascuilo procedure. All calculations were performed in Rstudio and Jupyter Notebook. The research explored the relationship between MSD prevalence, body region, and occupational groups. The highest MSD prevalence was seen in construction workers (67%), rice cultivators (48%), and keyboardists (44%), while the lowest was seen in police officers (28%) and truck drivers (11%). The Chi-squared tests showed a significant relationship between occupational group and body region of MSDs (p<0.001). The Marascuilo procedure indicated several highly significant differences between occupational groups by body region, such as in elbows (police officers vs nurses), and in knees (office workers vs construction workers). There was a lack of significant differences in several body regions between groups such as police officers vs factory workers, nurses vs rice cultivators, and keyboardists vs the reference population. Future research should account for sociodemographic factors in a more inclusive, global study. The information could improve ergonomic intervention and treatment programs for workers.
About this Scientist:
Tahsin is going to Connecticut College in the fall of 2021. She plans on studying Data, Information, and Society and is super excited to sleep away from family. She learned a lot in this class, especially about how to write a scientific paper and present a research project. She will miss her friends in Yonkers, as well as the shopping centers, but is excited for this next chapter!