A study on the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among ageing workforce of Indian construction industry

Arundhati Guha Thakurta (National Institute of Industrial Engineering,(NITIE,Mumbai))
Rauf Iqbal (National Institute of Industrial Engineering,(NITIE,Mumbai))


Ageing work force is one of the leading causes behind the reduction in the rate of growth of the labour force in construction industries. Construction industry is a major source of employment worldwide after agriculture, and generally the primary one in urban areas. Manual material handling in construction industries causes musculoskeletal disorders affecting both upper and lower extremities of the body. Studies on lower limb problems due to dynamic work like handling of heavy loads in construction industries are scanty.  To analyze the level of exertion, ergonomics risk factors and the prevalence of work-related lower limb disorders among the young and elderly construction workforce. 20 male construction workers in the age group of i) 20 to 30 years (golden age group); ii) 50 years and above were selected from a local construction site in Mumbai. Demographic data like age, height, weight, BMI, body fat, waist hip ratio and risk assessment by questionnaires study comprising QEC, NMQ, VAS, and LEFS were collected. Compared to the golden age group, the elderly subjects were found to feel uncomfortable to their lower back, knee and calf due to the immoderate forces and motions applied to their lower limbs during their daily work. Muscle pliability and proper coordination diminishes with age and it is appearing to be the most probable reason behind the pain experienced in their lower limbs might be due to improper techniques and postures. For elderly workers, age related limitations become an additional factor to maintain their normal work life.


Ageing;construction;MSD (Musculoskeletal disorder);MMH (Manual Material Handling)

Full Text:



[1]Alexopoulos, E.C, Tanagra, D., Konstantinou, E., Burdorf, A., 2006. Musculoskeletal disorders in shipyard industry: Prevalence, health care use and absenteeism. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2006; 7: 88.

[2]Fischer, E.O., 2004. Labour force ageing: Its impact on employment level and structure.The cases from Japan and Australia (Ewa.Orzechowska@anu.edu.au). The Australian National University. 12th Biennial Conference of the Australian Population Association, 15-17 September 2004, Canberra.

[3]The impacts of ageing on Industry, submission to productivity commission research study economic implications of an ageing Australia, Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources 2004.

[4]Weightmans. 2011. The effects of an ageing working population in the construction industry. Commercial Insurance.

[5]Waddell, G. 1987. A new clinical model for the treatment of low back pain. Spine. 22: 128-56.

[6]Boschman, J.S., Molen, H.F., Sluiter, J.K., Frings-Dresen, M.H.W. 2012. Musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers: a one-year follow-up study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 13: 196.

[7]ILO 2009

[8]Lower limb MSD. Scoping work to help inform advice and research planning. 2009. Prepared by the Health and Safety Laboratory for the Health and Safety Executive.

[9]Bodhare, T., Sameer Valsangkar S., Bele, S. 2011. An Epidemiological Study of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders among Construction Workers in Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh. Indian J Community Med. 36 (4): 304–307.

[10]Kuorinka, I., and Forcier, L. 1995. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs): a reference book for prevention. London, England Taylor & Francis, 1.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jgm.v3i1.2674


  • There are currently no refbacks.
Copyright © 2021 Arundhati Guha Thakurta, Rauf Iqbal Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.