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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 163-169

Work related musculoskeletal disorders and postural stress of the women cultivators engaged in uprooting job of rice cultivation

1 Department of Physiology, Panskura Banamali College, Purba Midnapore, West Bengal, India
2 Ergonomics and Sports Physiology Division, Department of Human Physiology with Community Health, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Prakash C Dhara
Ergonomics and Sports Physiology Division, Department of Human Physiology with Community Health, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_104_18

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Aims: A large number of workers including women are involved in the informal sector in India. A majority of them are engaged in agricultural sectors. The agricultural workers have to perform their jobs by putting manual labor and are exposed to different occupational stresses. The present study was aimed to evaluate postural stress and prevalence of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) of women cultivators engaged in uprooting job of rice cultivation. Settings and Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 166 women cultivators from different districts of West Bengal state, India. Materials and Methods: Prevalence and intensity of MSDs of the cultivators were evaluated by Nordic questionnaire and 10-point body part discomfort scale. Work rest pattern and postural pattern were studied by direct observation method. Postural stress was assessed by OVAKO Working Postures Analysis System (OWAS), Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA), Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA), and Quick Exposure Checklist (QEC) methods and as well as by measuring center of gravity. Results and Conclusions: MSD was highly prevalent among the study participants. Lower back, hip, wrist, shoulder, and knee were highly affected. Higher prevalence of MSDs among the cultivators may be because of prolonged working hours and awkward postures. The women cultivators had to start their day before dawn to finish off their household chores such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and dishes, etc., before they moved off to the fields, which altogether impose them under additional stress. It may be suggested that ergonomic interventions such as modifying work-rest schedules, improving work postures, and introducing new design hand tools should be considered for improving work condition of the women cultivators.


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