Prevalence and risk factors of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the catering industry: A systematic review

Yan Wen Xu, Shu Kei Cheng, Wai Ping Cecilia Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to systematically explore the prevalence and risk factors of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) in the catering industry by reviewing relevant published literature with the goal of developing future prevention strategies. METHODS: The systematic review was carried out in nine English medical databases, two Chinese-dominated full-text databases and seven web sites with the designated search strategies. Studies were included if they met the defined inclusion criteria hierarchically to investigate prevalence and or risk factors associated with WMSDs in the catering industry with appropriate epidemiological methodology. RESULTS: Nine English databases yielded 634 citations, and two Chinese databases yielded 401 citations, although only five English and three Chinese studies passed the inclusion criteria. Three-fourths of the studies were cross-sectional. The prevalence of WMSDs varied from 3% to 86% depending on the type of establishment and positions. The most important risk factors were physical job demands, such as work posture, force applied, and repeated movement. CONCLUSIONS: The lack of epidemiological information about WMSDs in the catering industry is apparent. Further studies are needed to investigate the relation among prevalence, risk factors and forms of WMSDs, in particular the interaction of risk factors in psychosocial aspects of the catering industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-116
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2013


  • and injury-prevention strategies
  • Chinese restaurant
  • physical work demands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence and risk factors of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the catering industry: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this