Author: Fatin Nasuha Abdul Rahim, Shamsul Bahri Mohd Tamrin

Abstract:Numerous studies are conducted to study the ergonomics risk factors among schoolchildren and office workers. No study had been conducted yet on the ergonomic risk factors for university students in Malaysia. The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors associated with musculoskeletal discomfort among the university students. This is a cross-sectional study. The respondents were selected using a simple random sampling method. Musculoskeletal discomfort (MSD) was recorded using MSD Questionnaire. Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) was used to assess awkward posture of student’s torso namely bending forward movement, leaning, sitting and twisting. Rapid Office Strain Assessment (ROSA) was used to quantify risk associated with the work station of the students with computer related activities. Anthropometric measurement which consist of weight and sitting measurement of a respondents using anthropometry set to measure the possible mismatch between the body
dimension of the students and furniture dimension. Four possible mismatch that measured were popliteal height and seat height; buttock-popliteal length and seat depth; knee height and table clearance; and elbow rest height and table height. Results showed that the prevalence of discomfort among the students was 76.7%. Results of Chi Square test showed that there was no association between discomfort and demographic factors for gender, age, BMI and ethnicity. There was no association between discomfort and ergonomic factors including ROSA (χ² = 2.635, p-value = 0.105), RULA (χ² = 4.634, p-value = 0.099), MSD complain (χ² = 0.032, p-value = 0.857) and mismatch (χ² = 0.332 p-value = 0.564). The prevalence of discomfort was high among the students. Therefore, a recommended chair dimension was recommend for the use in hostels to avoid the increasing of risks among the students.

Keywords: musculoskeletal discomfort (MSD), rapid upper limb assessment (RULA), rapid office strain assessment
(ROSA), mismatch


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