Occupational Low Back Pain in Primary and High School Teachers: Prevalence and Associated Factors

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SOURCE:   J Manip Physiol Ther. 2014 (Nov);   37 (9):   702–708

Mohammad A. Mohseni Bandpei, PhD, Fatemeh Ehsani, MSc,
Hamid Behtash, MD, Marziyeh Ghanipour, BSc

Professor, Iranian Research Centre on Aging,
Department of Physiotherapy,
University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences,
Evin, Tehran, Iran.

OBJECTIVE:   The purposes of this study were to investigate the prevalence of and risk factors for low back pain (LBP) in teachers and to evaluate the association of individual and occupational characteristics with the prevalence of LBP.

METHODS:   In this cross-sectional study, 586 asymptomatic teachers were randomly selected from 22 primary and high schools in Semnan city of Iran. Data on the personal, occupational characteristics, pain intensity, and functional disability as well as the prevalence and risk factors of LBP were collected using different questionnaires.

RESULTS:   Point, last month, last 6 months, annual, and lifetime prevalence rates of LBP were 21.8%, 26.3%, 29.6%, 31.1%, and 36.5%, respectively. The highest prevalence was obtained for the high school teachers. The prevalence of LBP was significantly associated with age, body mass index, job satisfaction, and length of employment (P < .05 in all instances). Prolonged sitting and standing, working hours with computer, and correcting examination papers were the most aggravating factors, respectively. Rest and participation in physical activity were found to be the most relieving factors.

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CONCLUSION:   The prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in teachers appears to be high. High school teachers were more likely to experience LBP than primary school teachers. Factors such as age, body mass index, length of employment, job satisfaction, and work-related activities were significant factors associated with LBP in this teacher population.


From the FULL TEXT Article:


Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common health problems in working population [1-5] that play a major role on the quality of life. [6-10] Previous studies demonstrated a high prevalence rate and high associated direct and indirect costs with MSDs. [11, 12]

Many studies indicate that low back pain (LBP) is a common MSD in both the developed and developing countries and that more than half of the general population will experience LBP in their lifetime. [13-18] Contrary, in Iran, the prevalence rates of LBP in school children, nurses, and pregnant women were reported to be 17%, 62%, and 84%, respectively. [4, 15, 19] In a survey of 250 surgeons in Iran, Mohseni-Bandpei et al [6] studied the prevalence of LBP and reported that 84.4% of the participants experienced LBP.

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