Paper Title: Musculoskeletal symptoms among computer users: A comparison between bankers and administrative civil servants in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Authors: Alamina F.E, Douglas K.E.
Background: Musculoskeletal disorders are common among various occupational groups. They could cause pain or discomfort and may result in reduced productivity, absenteeism due to ill health, and considerable economic and social impact. This study was to determine and compare the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms, awareness, health care- seeking behaviour and identify risk factors among bank tellers and civil servants in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Methods: This was a comparative cross-sectional study. A total of 668 computer workers were studied (equal number of bankers and civil servants). A pre-tested semi-structured, interviewer administered questionnaire which included the standardized Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was used. Results: The age range of participants was 20-59 years. The mean age of bankers and civil servants were 31.3 ±4.5 years and 38.3 ± 7.3 years respectively. Most of the bankers (82.9%) and civil servants (89.8%) reported at least one musculoskeletal symptom in the past twelve months. The most common reported symptom in both work groups was neck pain (62.9% and 56.0% respectively). Among the bankers, this was followed by upper back pain (57.2%) while for the civil servants it was low back pain (45.8%). Conclusion: This study found a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among civil servants compared to bankers. Ergonomic interventions, avoidance of prolonged sitting, observance of regular rest breaks and adoption of good work practices would help in the reduction of risks for work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Early presentation and proper treatment should be encouraged.