Musculoskeletal disorders among irish farmers
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Osborne, A. Blake, C.; McNamara, J.; Meredith, D.; Phelan, J.; Cunningham, C. (2010). Musculoskeletal disorders among irish farmers. Occupational Medicine 60 (8), 598-603
Background Farming is an occupation that predisposes individuals to health problems including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). There is limited research regarding MSDs among farmers especially in Ireland. Aims To establish the prevalence of MSDs, identify the most commonly affected body regions and to explore what factors may influence the development of the most common MSDs among farmers in Ireland. Methods A questionnaire survey of Irish farmers was conducted. The study sample comprised 600 farmers (100 farmers from each of the six main farm enterprise systems in Ireland). Results Of the 600 farmers, 56% had experienced a MSD in the previous year. The most commonly experienced MSDs were back pain (37%) and neck/shoulder pain (25%). Other MSDs experienced in the previous year included knee pain (9%), hand-wrist-elbow pain (9%), ankle/foot pain (9%) and hip pain (8%). Overall, MSDs were more common in farmers working longer hours (P &lt; 0.05). Back pain was more prevalent in full-time farmers (P &lt; 0.05), while prevalence of hip pain was greater in farmers who were older (P &lt; 0.01), full time (P &lt; 0.05), farming for longer (P &lt; 0.01) and working for longer hours (P &lt; 0.01). Farm enterprise was not a factor in influencing the development of MSDs. Conclusions These findings suggest that the number of hours worked by farmers, rather than enterprise specific tasks render farmers more susceptible to MSDs. Further investigation is needed to explore risk factors in the development of MSDs.