Relationship between simultaneous exposure to ergonomic risk factors and work-related lower back pain: A cross-sectional study based on the fourth Korean working conditions survey

Jae Yeop Kim, Ji Su Shin, Myeong Seob Lim, Hyeon Gyeong Choi, Sung Kyeong Kim, Hee Tae Kang, Sang Baek Koh, Sung Soo Oh

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Abstract

Background: It is well known that ergonomic risk factors and back pain are related. However, few studies have examined the relationship between simultaneous exposure to these risk factors and back pain in a Korean population. We aimed to investigate the relationship between simultaneous exposure to ergonomic risk factors and work-related lower back pain (LBP) based on the fourth Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS). Method: The fourth KWCS (2014) was used for this study. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used to assess relationship between 5 ergonomic risk factors and work-related LBP. We also analyzed the relationship between simultaneous exposure to 2 risk factors and work-related LBP. Results: All 5 ergonomic risk factors (fatigue-inducing and painful posture; lifting or moving people; dragging, pushing, or moving heavy objects; standing posture; and repetitive hand or arm movements) were significantly correlated with work-related LBP in the severe exposure group (adjusted odd ratios [aOR] 5.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.46-5.83; aOR 1.98, 95% CI 1.62-2.42; aOR 2.09, 95% CI 1.82-2.40; aOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.60-2.01; aOR 2.04, 95% CI 1.82-2.30, respectively). When exposed to 2 risk factors simultaneously, the relationship between exposure and work-related LBP was not greater than exposure to only 1 risk factor in our study (usually exposed to 'fatigue-inducing or painful posture' aOR 2.17, 95% CI 2.02-2.34; high exposure to both 'fatigue-inducing or painful posture' and 'dragging, pushing, or moving heavy objects' aOR 2.00, 95% CI 1.82-2.20). Conclusions: There was a strong relationship between severe exposure to each ergonomic risk factor and work-related LBP. However, when exposed to 2 ergonomic risk factors simultaneously, the relationship between exposure and work-related LBP was not stronger than when exposed to only 1 risk factor in our study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalAnnals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 5

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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