Saf Health Work.  2010 Dec;1(2):158-166.

Gender-related Factors Associated with Upper Extremity Function in Workers

  • 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Incheon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Gyeongju, Korea.


OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to find gender distinctions in terms of the sociology of the population; to determine work-related factors; to analyze gender differences in daily living, work, sports, and art performances; and to identify gender-related factors that limited performance of daily living and work activities.
A questionnaire was designed that included disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH), accident history, disease history, work duration at current workplace, marital status, job satisfaction, job autonomy, and physical demands of the job. Out of 1,853 workers surveyed, 1,173 questionnaires (63.3%; 987 males, 186 females) included responses to DASH disability and DASH optional work and were judged acceptable for analysis.
Upper extremity functional limitation during work and daily living was higher for females than males. The limitations for males increased according to their household work time, accident history, work duration, job satisfaction, physical demand, and job autonomy. Meanwhile, female workers' upper extremity discomfort was influenced by their disease history, job satisfaction, and physical demands. In addition, the size of the company affected male workers' upper extremity function, while marriage and hobbies influenced that of female workers.
This study addressed sociodemographic factors and work-related factors that affect each gender's upper extremity function during daily living and working activities. Each factor had a different influence. Further studies are needed to identify the effect that role changes, not being influenced by risks at work, have on musculoskeletal disorders.


Gender; DASH; Disability; Upper extremity; Work
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