Physical Exercise Program to Control Musculoskeletal Symptoms Among Sewing Machine Workers of an Aircraft Maintenance Company
Authors: Januário LB, Moreira RFC, Barros FC, Oliveira AB
Abstract: Sewing machine workers have high prevalence of WMSDs in neck-shoulder, wrists and lower back region. It is known that occupational physical exercises programs have positive benefits regarding complaints and absenteeism due to musculoskeletal symptoms. Therefore, the aims of this study were to evaluate ergonomic, musculoskeletal and psychosocial conditions of workers from an upholstery and sewing sector, and investigate the effectiveness of a physical exercise program applied at the occupational environment. Fifteen workers (44.5 ± 8.8 years old) took part of the study. Musculoskeletal symptoms were evaluated through the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ), Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ) and a standardized physical examination. Psychosocial indicators were evaluated from the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), while the Ergonomic Workplace Analysis (EWA) protocol was applied to assess workplace conditions. The physical exercise program was applied twice a week for 30 minutes, during 12 weeks. It was composed by warm-up, strengthening and stretching exercises. A significant reduction on musculoskeletal symptoms were observed for wrists/hands and lumbar spine considering results from the NMQ, and for all body regions assessed through the physical examination, except for elbows. Moreover, psychosocial indicators have shown significant improvement. These benefits increase workability and promote better quality of life to the workers, and can be reproduced in other workplaces.
Keywords: physical therapy, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, exercise, psychosocial factors, ergonomics
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