Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) have a high prevalence with over 75% of the Dutch adults reporting one or more complaints in the past 12 months. In a large population-based study back pain was most prevalent (44%), followed by complaints of neck (31%), shoulder (30%), and arms (23%). The high occurrence of MSD has large economical consequences, due to substantial healthcare utilisation, sickness absence, and permanent disability. About 25% of persons with MSD will take a sick leave and in about 20% of these cases the duration of sick leave will exceed 4 weeks. In the healthcare sector the prevalence of MSD and associated consequences is higher than in most occupations. The most common musculoskeletal disorder among nurses is low back pain. A significant proportion of low back pain (LBP) episodes can be attributed to events that occur during patient handling activities. Nurses are exposed to lifting during transferring patients, awkward working postures during patient care, and pushing and/or pulling during repositioning of patients or manoeuvring equipment. These activities have been reported as a cause of back complaints. Smedley et al., for example, found that patient repositioning and patient transfers from bed to chair were associated with an increased risk of LBP.

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A. Burdorf (Alex)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
The studies presented in this thesis were financially supported by a grant from ZonMw, the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (grant number 6320.0014). The financial support by the Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, for the publication of this thesis is gratefully acknowledged.
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Koppelaar, E. (2013, March 7). Use and Effect of Ergonomic Devices in Healthcare. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from