FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH LOWER BACK PAIN AMONG WORKERS IN A CHEMICAL FERTILIZER FACTORY
Most available data on the prevalence and characteristics of low back pain (LBP) are reported in developed countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of LBP and potential risk factors among a group of workers in Malaysia. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 170 workers in a fertilizer company in Malaysia. The sample comprised both blue- and white-collar workers. A set of questionnaires consisting of sociodemographic items, the NORDIC musculoskeletal questionnaire and the Dutch Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used for this study. The main analysis conducted was a multivariate logistic regression. Results showed that a total of 40% of workers experienced LBP. Compared to workers younger than 30 years of age, the risk of LBP was 8 times higher among those over 50 years of age. In addition, workers who were moderately stressed at work had a risk of LBP that was almost five times higher, and workers who did not have awkward posture for a long period of time had an 80% lower risk of LBP. In a multivariate logistic regression, after adjusting for sociodemographic variables, it was found that less repetitive work, shorter sustained positions and less frequent lifting of heavy objects prevented LBP. After the final adjustment including all other variables, only engaging in repetitive work was associated with LBP. In conclusion, each workplace should ensure that older workers, especially those who are working in stressful environments, are prevented from engaging in repetitive work, sustaining prolonged awkward postures and lifting heavy objects.
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