WMSD is still a problem

January 26, 2022

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 50–70% of workers develop WMSDs, about 317 million individuals suffer from it annually. Some articles examine WMSD as a common problem affecting the whole population, other writings focus on a group of workers such as health professionals, construction workers, restaurant service personnel, or those on the production lines.

WMSD is a type of injury or illness of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal disks, causing disability or limitations in the lives of the affected. It has an impact on a social and an individual level and results in extensive costs. In Europe, more than 50% of work absenteeism is reported connected to WMSD illnesses, which is significantly higher than in workers infected by the influenza virus (10–12%). Employees suffering from WMSDs are also absent from work for a longer period compared to workers with other health problems. The financial costs of WMSDs in Europe are estimated at 240 billion euros, accounting for 2% of the gross domestic product of the EU.

Despite these known negative consequences, the attempts for prevention are not strong enough. To improve conditions you have to take into account psychosocial and physical factors as well. When reassessing psychosocial conditions consider working hours, factors of overload, work content, etc. But when considering physical factors most articles report that WMSD manifests in the physical pain of the neck, the back, shoulders, and arms. You have the means to investigate the exact causes since the posture and movement problems can be explored by the numerous methods and standards developed such as RULA, OWAS, ISO11226, EN 1005, etc. And also, you can make motion capture recordings to feed these methods with punctual data. With the help of ViveLab these postures and motion are assessable. Problems are highlighted by the software, following the assessment instructions of the given method using motion capture data as a basis for it.


K. Saraswathi Krishnan 1, Gunasunderi Raju 1,* and Omar Shawkataly: Prevalence of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: Psychological and Physical Risk Factors

Govaerts, R., Tassignon, B., Ghillebert, J. et al. Prevalence and incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in secondary industries of 21st century Europe: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 22, 751 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-021-04615-9

Habtamu Tegenu, Mulat Gebrehiwot, Jember Azanaw, Temesgen Yihunie Akalu, "Self-Reported Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders and Associated Factors among Restaurant Workers in Gondar City, Northwest Ethiopia, 2020", Journal of Environmental and Public Health, vol. 2021, Article ID 6082506, 9 pages, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6082506

Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders & Ergonomics (https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/health-strategies/musculoskeletal-disorders/index.html)


ViveLab Ergo is a cloud-based ergonomic lab for modeling objects, machines and human beings moving together in a virtual 3D space. Thanks to its massive anthropometric database and 7 built-in ergonomic analyses it precisely simulates, analyzes and validates human interactions with industrial and other environments. With the help of the ViveLab Ergo the ergonomic analysis of constructions is possible in the planning phase without prototype production by simulation in the virtual space.

Our mission is to provide fast and accurate three-dimensional virtual ergonomic tests, analysis and planning for wide range of companies to create optimal working environments and workflows for health, efficiency and competitiveness.

Related Posts