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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 99-103

Lifestyle behaviors and their influence on work-related musculoskeletal discomfort: A web-based survey during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

1 Department of Occupational Therapy and Ergonomics, Body Dynamics, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Physiotherapy, SDM College of Physiotherapy, SDM University, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Bharati Jajoo
Body Dynamics, 129, Prestige Ozone Whitefield, Main Road, Bengaluru - 560 066, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_30_21

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Background: Healthy lifestyle choices have a great impact on individuals' health. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created an unprecedented work from home (WFH) situation. This recent trend has led to computer users in WFH having limited access to health-care options, ergonomic workstations and social participation like a visit to a gym or walking in the park, or any other meaningful engagements which people adopt to improve their health and well-being. Objectives: This study aimed to identify the health and lifestyle behaviors and work-related discomfort reported by employees in WFH situations due to COVID-19 lockdown through a self-reported survey and to study if there is an association between reported discomfort and lifestyle behaviors. Study Design: This was a cross-sectional survey. Methods: A web-based, E-mail, cross-sectional survey was designed having three sections: demographic characteristics; work-related discomfort and its rating on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS); and scoring on the Simple Lifestyle Indicator Questionnaire (SLIQ). Completed questionnaires and the responses from employees in WFH were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results: Demographic data showed that the majority of the respondents were male (n = 190 [78%]). One hundred and ninety-five (80%) respondents reported symptoms of musculoskeletal discomfort. The SLIQ score showed 1 (1%) of the studied population in the healthy category, 70 (29%) in the intermediate healthy category, and 173 (70%) in the unhealthy category. The Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was calculated for the individual scores in each category with the VAS score. Exercise and VAS score showed a significant negative correlation (ρ = −0.146; P = 0.001; 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.261 [LL], −0.005 [UL]) while the VAS score with smoking (ρ = 0.362; P = 0.000; 95% CI: 0.227 LL, 0.466 UL) and stress level (ρ = −0.140; P = 0.029; 95% CI: −0.286 LL, −0.003 UL) showed a significant positive correlation. Conclusion: WFH has led to an overall reduction of participation in healthy lifestyle behaviors, with a substantial percentage of people classified in the unhealthy category. Survey also elicits a significant association where higher levels of exercise in people correlated with a lower reported work-related musculoskeletal discomfort. Similarly, smoking and higher stress levels correlated positively with reported musculoskeletal discomfort symptoms. Thus, awareness measures to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors and stress management should be incorporated among computer users working from home settings.

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