The effects of COVID-19 related shutdowns on perceived lifestyle and prevalence of musculoskeletal discomfort

by CreatioTeam on February 11, 2024

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

COVID-19 caused a transition to work-from-home conditions, closures of recreation facilities and cancelation of social events.

 

OBJECTIVE:

This study sought to characterize and quantify the impact COVID-19 related shutdowns had on perceptions of health and wellbeing, musculoskeletal discomfort, and physical characteristics of workstation set-up in full time workers who transitioned to working from home.

 

METHODS:

297 participants from 8 countries completed a retrospective pre/post survey design that assessed outcomes prior to COVID-19 shutdowns and when each participant was experiencing peak pandemic-related restrictions. There were 3 categories including, health and wellbeing, musculoskeletal discomfort, and workplace ergonomics.

 

RESULTS:

General discomfort on a scale from 1 to 100 increased from 31.4 pre to 39.9 during COVID-19. Notable areas increasing in severity of discomfort from pre to during included the neck (41.8 to 47.7), upper back (36.3 to 41.3) and right wrist (38.7 to 43.5). The percentage of the population experiencing discomfort increased from pre to during in the low back (41.5% to 55.2%), upper back (28.7% to 40.9%), neck (45.5% to 60.9%) and right wrist (16.1% to 23.7%).

 

CONCLUSION:

There were three distinct groups for physical activity one group including, one maintaining and one that decreased, which did not have an impact on perceived general discomfort. There was a significant decrease in usage of a desk and adjustable chair and an increase in laptop use. Working from home in some capacity will likely be a more common occurrence which will require further ergonomic assessments and considerations to keep a healthy workforce.

Authors: Cousins, Daniel J.E. | Schaefer, Bailey H. | Holmes, Michael W.R. | Beaudette, Shawn M.

Full text link: The effects of COVID-19 related shutdowns on perceived lifestyle and prevalence of musculoskeletal discomfort - IOS Press

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