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Background and Objective: Neck, shoulder and back pain are common symptoms among workers who involve in repetitive motion of upper limbs. Call center workers who work in static sitting position and prolong computer use may have musculoskeletal health problems. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and discomfort characteristics of neck, shoulder and back pain among call center workers in Khon Kaen Province.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 216 call center workers in Khon Kaen Province. The characteristics of pain were assessed by using the structured questionnaires and the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaires (CMDQ).
Results: The prevalence of neck, shoulder and back pain during the last three-month was 83.8% (95%CI: 78.8-88.7). The majority of workers (70.3%, 95%CI: 63.6-77.0) reported one region of pain, predominantly located in back area at 35.2%. Two combined regions of pain were reported at 23.1% (95%CI: 16.9-29.2) of workers with the highest prevalence of pain in the shoulder and back area at 12.1%. The prevalence of three combined regions of pain was 6.6% (95%CI: 2.9-10.2). The discomfort levels were assessed by severity, frequency and degree of disturbance to work performances. The highest prevalence of a moderate level of discomfort was found in the right lower back area at 21.3%. The second highest prevalence of a high level of discomfort in the left lower back was 19.9%.
Conclusions: The findings indicated a high prevalence of neck, shoulder and back pain among call center workers, specially combined lower back and shoulder pain. It is suggested that, an ergonomics risk assessment in the work environment and an investigation of the risk factors associated with neck, shoulder and back discomfort can prevent the development of severe symptoms of these musculoskeletal problems among call center workers.
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