THE PREVALENCE OF SELF-REPORTED NECK AND BACK PAIN AMONG SUPERMARKET CASHIERS IN BOTSWANA
Background: Although neck and back pain represent a common occupational problem, few epidemiological studies have investigated the prevalence and risk factors for these disorders among supermarkets cashiers in Botswana. Cashiers represent an occupational group whose work tasks put them at an increased risk of development of neck and back pain.
Aim: The objective of this study was to determine factors associated with neck and back pain and their prevalence among supermarkets cashiers in Botswana.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among supermarkets cashiers using self-administered questionnaires distributed to randomly selected supermarkets. The questionnaire gathered information on participants’ demographic characteristics, neck and back pain information, lifestyle and work-related factors. Data were analysed using Chi-squared and logistic regression models.
Results: A total of 174 supermarkets cashiers participated in this study. The prevalence of lower back pain was 68.3%, upper back pain 51.1% and neck pain only 35%. The results of logistic regression analysis revealed that female gender and previous injury were associated with neck and upper back pain. Length of employment was associated with lower and upper back pain. Having children less than 6 years was associated with lower back pain [Odds Ratio (OR): 1.66, 95% CI: 1.15-2.87]. Poor workstation layout [OR: 1.71, 95%CI: 1.43-3.22] and serving more than 100/day customers [OR: 2.85, 95% CI: 1.57-10.22] were associated with neck and back pain, respectively. Young cashiers aged between 21- 25 years and those who exercised regularly were less likely to report lower pack [OR: 0.29, 95% CI: 0.27-0.80] and upper back [OR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.75-0.95] pain, respectively.
Conclusion(s): Back pain was more prevalent among supermarket cashiers when compared to neck pain. Individual factors and work-related factors were associated with neck and/or back pain. Younger cashiers and regular exercise were protective factors for lower back and upper back pain, respectively. This study has found that neck and back pain are multifactorial. Thus, to reduce their prevalence and progression, supermarkets should introduce occupational health and safety talks.
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