Low Back Pain in Primary and High School Teachers
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 02:36 PM

Among occupational groups, school teachers were considered to have a widely varied prevalence rate of LBP, ranging from 17.7% in Japan to 53.3% in Brazil to 59.2% in China and to 61% in the United States. Many studies demonstrated that school teachers were at more risk for developing back pain with different prevalence rates.

A recent study investigated the prevalence of and risk factors for low back pain (LBP) in teachers and to evaluate the association of individual and occupational characteristics with the prevalence of LBP.  In this cross-sectional study, 586 asymptomatic teachers were randomly selected from 22 primary and high schools in Semnan city of Iran.   Point, last month, last 6 months, annual, and lifetime prevalence rates of LBP were 21.8%, 26.3%, 29.6%, 31.1%, and 36.5%, respectively. The highest prevalence was obtained for the high school teachers.

The prevalence of LBP was significantly associated with age, body mass index, job satisfaction, and length of employment. Prolonged sitting and standing, working hours with computer, and correcting examination papers were the most aggravating factors, respectively. Rest and participation in physical activity were found to be the most relieving factors.

The study concluded that the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in teachers appears to be high. High school teachers were more likely to experience LBP than primary school teachers. Factors such as age, body mass index, length of employment, job satisfaction, and work-related activities were significant factors associated with LBP in this teacher population.

The authors note that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common health problems in working population that play a major role on the quality of life, and that previous studies demonstrated a high prevalence rate and high associated direct and indirect costs with MSDs.  Many studies indicate that low back pain is a common MSD in both the developed and developing countries and that more than half of the general population will experience LBP in their lifetime.