Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
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Introduction: Neck is more prone to have problems than other areas of the body. Operating a sewing machine is an occupational
risk for neck disorders, which negatively affect the productivity of garment sector and country. Neck pain among sewing machine
operators, however, has been little researched.
Objectives: To analyze: (a) risk factors of neck pain; (b) relationship between different characteristics of cervical region (range
of motion, muscle strength, height and circumference); and (c) association between neck pain and characteristics of the neck.
Methodology: An interviewer-administered questionnaire was administered to 100 female sewing machine operators (age
range: 25-35 years) in a garment factory in Katunayake Free Trade Zone, Sri Lanka. Characteristics of neck were estimated
using physical assessment. Pearson?s correlation coefficient and independent sample t-test were used to find out the relationship
between different neck characteristics, and association between neck pain and characteristics of neck, respectively. Different risk
factors of neck pain were analysed using chi-square test and Pearson?s correlation coefficient.
Results: Forty nine reported neck pain during the last two years. Highest averages for range of motion and muscle strength were
for left rotation and extensors, respectively. Neck height correlated positively (p<0.05) with cervical muscle strength (of extensors,
left/right rotators), and with cervical range of motion (of flexion, extension and left rotation). Range of motion in all directions,
muscle strength of extensors and left/right rotators, neck height, and circumference were significantly reduced (p<0.05) in ?neck
pain? group when compared with ?no neck pain? group. Working in the same position for long periods and not having enough
breaks were the major risk factors for neck pain
Conclusion: Sewing machine operators are prone to neck pain. Risk factors and cervical characteristics contributing to neck pain
were identified in this study
M. Denika Chathurangi Silva, a student of postgraduate diploma in Health Development in Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Completed B.Sc. in physiotherapy in Allied Health Sciences Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo in 2011. Interested in conducting
researches to update the knowledge, special areas are occupational and public health.
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