Korean J Occup Environ Med.  2009 Dec;21(4):378-387.

The Relationship between Job Stress and Musculoskeletal Symptoms in Migrant Workers

  • 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Korea. kobawoo@kosha.net
  • 2Ahnsan Medical Consumer's Cooperation, Korea.


To investigate the musculoskeletal symptoms of migrant workers. We focused on the relationship between job stress and musculoskeletal symptoms. METHOD: A questionnaire was administered to 502 migrant workers who visited NGO migrant worker centers located in Gyung-gi province. A structured, self-reported questionnaire was administered to participants in order to capture the following information: sociodemographics, health factors including past medical history, work related characteristics, job stress, and musculoskeletal symptoms. The job stress questionnaires were used according to KOSS-26 and musculoskeletal symptoms were measured using KOSHA Code H-30-2003. We used multiple logistic regression analysis to assess the relationship between risk factors which included job stress, and musculoskeletal symptoms.
The prevalence rate of musculoskeletal symptoms in survey subjects was 35.1%. Other than job stress factors, past medical history was the only factor that had a statistical relationship to musculoskeletal symptoms (P<0.01). In the domains of job stress, physical environment (OR 1.62, 95% CI: 1.03~2.54), job demand (OR 2.43, 95% CI: 1.46~4.03), job insecurity (OR 1.59, 95% CI: 1.03~2.47), occupational climate (OR 2.30, 95% CI: 1.27~4.19) were most likely experience musculoskeletal symptoms.
The job stress factor appeared to correlate more with musculoskeletal symptoms than with sociodemographics or other factors. Hence, in order to prevent migrant worker's musculoskeletal symptoms, we believe that intervention in job stress (physical environment, job demand, job insecurity, occupational climate) is necessary.


Migrant workers; Musculoskeletal symptoms; Job stress
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