Prevalence Study of the Risk for Musculoskeletal Disorders Among University Students During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Abdul Kareem Basil Alkolak1, Ammar Adnan2, Norhashimah Mohd Shaffiar3, Mohd Hanafi Ani4, Malek Hamid5
Department of Manufacturing and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia1, 3, 4, 5
SimplyErgo Sdn. Bhd., Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia2
Corresponding Author: email@example.com
Page 106 – 118 | Vol. 6 No. 2 2021 | Available online on 1 December 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted human daily routines. At higher education institutions, the adoption of online classes has result in increasing of electronic devices engagement among the university community, which may increase the risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Currently, there is no prevalence study on the risk for MSDs among the university students in Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, this study was done to
investigate the matter. Objectives of the study are: (i) to determine the prevalence of the MSDs symptoms among the university students during the COVID-19 pandemic; (ii) to determine the correlation between the credit hours registered and the number of body parts experiencing MSDs symptoms and the level of discomfort of the MSDs symptoms; (iii) to determine the correlation between the daily hours engaged with the electronics devices for the online classes and the number of body parts experiencing MSDs symptoms and the level of discomfort of the MSDs symptom; and (iv) to determine the correlation between the level of discomfort reported and the level of interference to work reported. 137 students were responded to the questionnaire and they were undergraduate Engineering students from the International
Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) [male, n = 94; female, n = 41] between 19-29 years of age [mean = 22.94; SD = 1.73]. The Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire (CMDQ) was used, in which, respondents were asked to report their body parts that experiencing MSDs symptoms (total of 12 body parts) and its frequency. Moreover, they were also asked to report the level of discomfort (3 levels – slightly, moderate, very uncomfortable) and level of interference (3 levels – not at all, slightly, substantially). The results reveal that: (i) the average number of body parts that experiencing the MSD symptoms was 6.95/12 [SD = 3.52]; (ii) the average score of the level of discomfort was 1.51/3 [SD = 0.64]; (iii) the average score of the level of interference was 1.59/3 [SD = 0.64]; (iv) the most affected body parts are neck, shoulder, upper back, and lower back; (v) there is no correlation between the credit hours registered and the number of body pain reported as well as the level of discomfort; (vi) there is correlation between the daily hours electronics devices engagement with the number of body pain reported, r (137) = 0.206; p < 0.05 and with the level of discomfort reported, r (137) =
0.201; p < 0.05; and (viii) there was a strong positive correlation between the level of pain and the level of interference reported, r (137) = 0.661; p < 0.01. This study shows university students are indeed exposed to the risk for MSDs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, the study contributes the prevalence study on the risk for MSDs among the university students during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the implementation of the online classes and focuses on the
3rd Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – good health & well being. Detail investigations can be furthered such as considering the differences between the work-related and non-work-related factors and the effect of daily routines e.g. physical activity and study habit.
Musculoskeletal disorders; COVID-19 pandemic, college student, Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire
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Human Factors & Ergonomics Journal (HFEJ), eISSN: 2590-3705 is the official Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Malaysia. The journal is published on a biannual basis. HFEJ aims to address current research in the field of Ergonomics in addition to the broad coverage of cognitive ergonomics, user experience, physical ergonomics and others such as transportation, industrial design and industrial engineering. HFEJ is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), as such we only accept original work.