Musculoskeletal disorders, foot health and footwear choice in occupations involving prolonged standing

Anderson, J, Williams, AE ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1224-4347 and Nester, CJ ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1688-320X 2021, 'Musculoskeletal disorders, foot health and footwear choice in occupations involving prolonged standing' , International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 81 , p. 103079.

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Abstract

Occupations that involve prolonged periods of standing and maintaining an upright posture are associated with an increased risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD), particularly of the lower back and lower extremities. Identifying factors that impact WMSD is therefore important, but the foot and footwear have been largely ignored to date. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of WMSD of the lower back and lower extremity with emphasis on foot health and the impact of footwear. A cross-sectional questionnaire was completed by 147 surgical workers who were standing for long periods in their working day. It assessed job demands, individual characteristics, WMSD prevalence, psychosocial factors and footwear, with a multivariate analysis to identify relationships between variables. Results found the low back was the most predominant area of WMSD (71%), but the foot had the second highest prevalence (55%). The plantar foot surface was the main region of foot pain with everyone that experienced foot pain reporting it under the heel, ball of foot or arch region. Footwear was recognised as an influencing factor on WMSD by the participants as well as by the multivariate analysis, highlighting the importance of exploring footwear to reduce WMSD. Footwear comfort, footwear fit, footwear choice and the provision of footwear by employers were all identified as important factors to consider in relation to WMSD and foot health.
Relevance to industry Footwear is related to WMSD which are seen in the majority of workers undertaking prolonged standing. Employers of these workers and footwear suppliers should consider footwear comfort, particularly its fit and individual preference for footwear characteristics including underfoot cushioning and support. This should also include consideration of the range of footwear available and how it is selected by workers.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0169-8141
Related URLs:
Funders: Knowledge Transfer Partnership Programme, Toffeln Limited, UK and Innovate UK
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 10:33
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2021 08:12
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/59470

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