Ergonomics Workstation Assessment of Musculoskeletal Disorders in a Nigerian University
This study examines the experiences of musculoskeletal discomfort among staff and students of the University of Port Harcourt as it relates to their workstations. Questionnaires were designed to extract information from respondents on their experience of musculoskeletal pains and other discomforts. A total of 320 questionnaires were distributed randomly to staff and students across the three campuses of the University of Port Harcourt. One hundred and forty (140) questionnaires were distributed to staff (academic, 60 and non-academic, 90) out of which 115 were retrieved. Similarly, 170 questionnaires were distributed to students out of which 163 were retrieved; altogether 278 out of 320 yielded a 86.9% response rate. The study revealed that there is a strong relationship between the workstation set up and development of musculoskeletal discomfort in classrooms and offices at the University of Port Harcourt. Most staff and students experienced low back and neck pains due to poor ergonomic practices. Furthermore, most of the students respondents spent their reasonable time sitting in class receiving lectures (47%) and studying/reading (18.3%), respectively. While a handful of students (9%) stood for most of the time receiving lectures; due to limited number of seats. A multiple regression analysis on workstation against MSDs (lower backaches, headaches, neck & upper backaches and neck & shoulder aches) yielded a coefficient of variance, R2 of 87%. The sensitivity analysis on the regression model gave the following results: R2 = 29.94, 1.23, 41.7, and 14.12% for workstation against i) lower backaches; ii) headaches; iii) neck & upper backaches; iv) neck & shoulder aches, respectively. The result of Kruskal-Walli’s test of significance on the questionnaire response to simple ergonomic workstation (the cause) and those of musculoskeletal disorder (the effect) showed not significant. This confirmed the consistency of responses (that is, the samples were from the same distribution). Kendall’s w-statistic for staff and students level of agreement < 50% in all cases.
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Ify L. Nwaogazie
Centre for Occupational Health, Safety and Environment, Institute of Petroleum Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Rivers State, Nigeria.