The effectiveness of a multidisciplinary exercise program in managing work-related musculoskeletal symptoms for low-skilled workers in the low-income community: A pre-post-follow-up study

Kin Cheung, Mimi M.Y. Tse, Chi Kan Wong, Kwan Wai Mui, Siu Kan Lee, Ka Yan Ma, Keith T.S. Tung, Echo Ping Woi Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Studies on work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WRMSs) have been conducted mainly on different types of workforce but not many on low-skilled workers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary exercise program in decreasing the number of body parts with WRMSs for low-skilled workers. This study used a repeated-measures, single-group design. One hundred and five (105) workers participated in eight weekly 90-min sessions (including 45-min workshops and 45-min exercises) in low-income community settings. The exercise program involved a 21-movement stretching exercise and a 10-movement muscle-strengthening exercise. Questionnaire and health-assessment data were collected at the baseline (N = 105) and immediately after the 8-week program (n = 86). The average age of the 105 participants was 50.5 ± 8.7 years (ranging from 31 to 67). Over 80% (n = 87) of them were female, 68.6% (n = 72) were married, and 68.6% (n = 72) had completed secondary school. They reported an average of three body parts with WRMSs at baseline (T0). By the end of the eight weeks (T1), the participants had reduced the number of WRMS-affected body parts, job stress, and incidences of working through pain, and had improved spine flexibility and handgrip strength. The factors significantly affecting the reduction in the number of body parts with WRMSs were change in the workstyle of working through pain, and self-rated health status. Our study has demonstrated that a community-based multidisciplinary program can reduce the number of body parts affected by WRMSs in low-skilled workers in low-income communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1548
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Health inequalities
  • Health promotion
  • Occupational health
  • Public health
  • Social class

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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