A cross-sectional study of musculoskeletal disorders in relation to work movement characteristics among hotel foodservice employees in Taiwan

Jong Yu Adol Chyuan, Chung Li Du, Wen Yu Yeh, Chung-Yi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and to assess the relationship between MSD and work movement characteristics in a sample of hotel foodservice employees in Taiwan. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between January and April in 2001 among a convenient sample of 905 foodservice individuals from 24 hotel restaurants all over Taiwan to collect information on individual's demographic characteristics, daily activities, work movement characteristics, and perceived presence and severity of body part specific MSD. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess the adjusted relationship between work movement frequency and body part specific MSD. Results: Lower back/waist pain was most prevalent (52.6%) among kitchen staff whereas both sanitation and dining room staff suffered mostly from shoulder pain with prevalence rates of 63.4% and 64.3%, respectively. With respect to the severity, the kitchen staff who suffered from MSD had the highest severity score for several body parts including the shoulder, upper arm, upper back, and knee joint. The highest body part specific severity score for the sanitation and dining room staff was the knee joint and ankle/foot, respectively. The multiple linear regression analysis suggested stronger associations for shoulder pain and "frequent bending while moving/lifting heavy objects" or "frequent long-lasting moving/lifting objects"; finger/wrist pain and "continual twisting of the wrist" or "frequently vigorous action of the wrist"; and low back/waist pain and "frequent bending while moving/lifting heavy objects." Conclusions: Our data suggested that the body part specific prevalence rate of MSD was between 21.5% (upper leg) and 58.9% (shoulder) among hotel foodservice workers in Taiwan. The prevalence for lower back/waist pain (54.7%) was second only to shoulder or neck pain in the study participants. Analysis of correlation suggests that moving/lifting heavy objects showed a stronger association with shoulder pain than did any other work movement. On the other hand, lower back/waist pain had a relatively strong association with postures such as stooping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-149
Number of pages10
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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