Prevalence and predictors for musculoskeletal discomfort in Malaysian office workers: Investigating explanatory factors for a developing country

Ismail Maakip, Tessa Keegel, Jodi Oakman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a major occupational health issue for workers in developed and developing countries, including Malaysia. Most research related to MSDs has been undertaken in developed countries; given the different regulatory and cultural practices it is plausible that contributions of hazard and risk factors may be different. A population of Malaysian public service office workers were surveyed (N = 417, 65.5% response rate) to determine prevalence and associated predictors of MSD discomfort. The 6-month period prevalence of MSD discomfort was 92.8% (95%CI = 90.2-95.2%). Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) analyses was used to compare a range of models and determine a model of best fit. Contributions associated with MSD discomfort in the final model consisted of physical demands (61%), workload (14%), gender (13%), work-home balance (9%) and psychosocial factors (3%). Factors associated with MSD discomfort were similar in developed and developing countries but the relative contribution of factors was different, providing insight into future development of risk management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Discomfort
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Office workers
  • Prevalence rate
  • Risk

Cite this