Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders and job exposure in Taiwan oyster shuckers

Der Jen Hsu, Jer Hao Chang, Jyun De Wu, Chih Yong Chen, Ya Hsuan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Oyster shucking is characterized by long hours of static work, awkward working posture, and highly repetitive hand/wrist motion. The objectives of this study were to investigate the prevalence of musculoskeletal discomfort and kyphosis in oyster shuckers in Taiwan as well as the biomechanical features of oyster shucking. Methods: The Chinese version of the Standardized Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was successfully collected from 234 oyster shuckers. The characteristics of workstation, hand/wrist motion angles, and muscular exertion in shucking oysters were recorded. Measurements to identify kyphosis were also taken from the subjects and a control group. Results: Among the participated oyster shuckers, low back (75.2%), hand/wrist (60.3%), shoulder (44.0%), and elbow (27.8%) discomfort were reported most frequently. The prevalence of low back discomfort in oyster shuckers was higher than various groups of workers who need long hours of seated position. Those who worked on tables had fewer musculoskeletal complaints in shoulder and elbow (P<0.05) than those not. Additionally, oyster shuckers were more prone to kyphosis than the general population (P<0.001). Conclusions: Oyster shuckers are observed to have high prevalence of musculoskeletal discomfort and kyphosis. Introduction of ergonomic design to oyster shucking workshops is strongly suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-893
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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