Saf Health Work.  2018 Jun;9(2):216-223. 10.1016/

The Association of Workplace Psychosocial Factors and Musculoskeletal Pain Among Korean Emotional Laborers

  • 1Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Republic of Korea.


Many studies have reported negative psychological or physical effects of emotional labor. Relationship between work-related musculoskeletal disorder and psychosocial factors has been reported. To manage organizational and psychosocial factors of musculoskeletal disorder with work place intervention among emotional laborers, the factors contributing to musculoskeletal pain must be identified and clarified.
Data from the fourth Korean Working Conditions Survey was analyzed. Based on the questionnaire, we selected emotional laborers and included 3,979 participants, excluding participants whose variables were of interest to the researcher. Weight variable was applied. The association with musculoskeletal pain and psychosocial factors, such as workload, monotonous work, job control, social support, and job satisfaction, was investigated.
Univariate analysis demonstrated that there was a statistically significant relationship between social support, job satisfaction, and musculoskeletal pain. In multivariate analysis, job satisfaction showed a strong correlation with musculoskeletal pain at all sites. Social support was significantly associated with backache. Monotonous work seemed to reduce the pain in the neck and/or upper limbs. Job control and work intensity were not significantly associated with musculoskeletal pain.
In this study, job satisfaction was significantly associated with musculoskeletal pain, and social support among the social psychological stressors could reduce musculoskeletal pain. However, unlike previously known, the presence of monotonous work resulted in reduced musculoskeletal pain. The results of this study will help to establish the direction of improvement of atmosphere in the workplace to prevent the musculoskeletal pain of emotional laborers.


emotional labor; musculoskeletal pain; psychological stress; psychosocial deprivation; workplace

MeSH Terms

Back Pain
Job Satisfaction
Multivariate Analysis
Musculoskeletal Pain*
Psychosocial Deprivation
Social Control, Formal
Stress, Psychological
Upper Extremity
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