The Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Symptoms During Work From Home Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Sjahrul Meizar Nasri, Indri Hapsari Susilowati, Bonardo Prayogo Hasiholan, Akbar Nugroho Sitanggang, Ida Ayu Gede Jyotidiwy, Nurrachmat Satria, Magda Sabrina Theofany Simanjuntak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Online teaching and learning extend the duration of using gadgets such as mobile phones and tablets. A prolonged usage of these gadgets in a static position can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Therefore, this study aims to identify the risk factors related to musculoskeletal symptoms while using gadgets during work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: A cross-sectional survey with online-based questionnaires was collected from the University of Indonesia, consisting of lecturers, students, and managerial staff. The minimum number of respondents was 1,080 and was defined by stratified random sampling. Furthermore, the dependent variable was musculoskeletal symptoms, while the independent were age, gender, job position, duration, activity when using gadgets, and how to hold them. Result: Most of the respondents had mobile phones but only 16% had tablets. Furthermore, about 56.7% have used a mobile phone for more than 10 years, while about 89.7% have used a tablet for less than 10 years. A multivariate analysis found factors that were significantly associated with MSD symptoms while using a mobile phone, such as age, gender, web browsing activity, work, or college activities. These activities include doing assignments and holding the phone with two hands with two thumbs actively operating. The factors that were significantly associated with MSD symptoms when using tablets were gender, academic position, social media activity, and placing the tablet on a table with two actively working index fingers. Conclusion: Therefore, from the results of this study it is necessary to have WFH and e-learning policies to reduce MSD symptoms and enhance productivity at work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalSafety and Health at Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Factors
  • Gadget
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Posture
  • Symptoms


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