Journal List > Korean J Occup Environ Med > v.16(4) > 1125920

Kim, Koh, Kim, Kang, Son, Kim, and Song: The Relationship between Musculoskeletal Symptoms and Job Stress & Intensity of Labor among Shipbuilding Workers



This study aimed to reveal the multiple factors that are related to the work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) of shipbuilding workers, and to elucidate the relationship between musculoskeletal symptoms and factors such as the change of working conditions, job stress and physical workload.


The study sample comprised 1,059 shipbuilding workers. A structured-questionnaire was used to assess the general characteristics, job stress, psychosocial well-being index (PWI), physical workload, change of working conditions and information concerning musculoskeletal symptoms. We estimated the relations of job stress, physical workload and intensity of labour to musculoskeletal symptoms using univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses.


The symptom prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in any part of the body was 89.5% by ‘criteria 1’in the order of back (58.6%) and shoulder (56.3%). After adjustment for sociodemographic factors, posture factor (Odds ratio [OR]=1.06, 95% confidence interval [ C I ] = 1 . 0 0~1.12), non-posture factor (OR=1.17, CI=1.05~1.31), Borg scale (OR=1.15, C I = 1 . 0 0~1.32), relative work intensity increase (OR=1.92, CI=1.08~3.41), labor flexibility increase (OR=2.04, CI=1.04~4.01), high job demand (OR=2.68, CI=1.48~4.88), and high risk stress group (OR=13.50, CI=3.15~57.97) were all found to be significantly associated with musculoskeletal disorders.


These results suggest that WMSDs have multiple risk factors such as stress, physical workload and change of working conditions. High job demand, increased relative intensification of work and increased flexibility, especially such as subcontract, outsourcing and importing of contingent work, were very important factors associated with increasing WMSDs.

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