Monitoring self-reported musculoskeletal symptoms in forestry operations

Vasiliki Dimou, Chrisovalantis Malesios, Sofia Pispa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tough working conditions prevailing in the silvicultural sector contribute to the appearance of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in employees. This paper presents an analysis of the prevalence of self-reported musculoskeletal disorder symptoms (MSSs) among forestry workers. The Standardized Nordic Questionnaire (SNQ) was used as a tool for recording such self-reported symptoms. The questionnaire was completed by 100 professional forestry workers, 29 of whom were female, whose main tasks included debarking and stacking of firewood. The 71 male participants were classified according to work type into those who performed motor-manual felling and skidding with draft animals and those who performed motor-manual felling and skidding with the use of agricultural tractors. In order to test for the potential effects of different factors on the prevalence of MSSs among the workers, a quasi-binomial regression approach was followed. The main outcome from the fit of the regression-type models was that besides the varying influence of demographic factors such as workers’ age and years of experience, the type of work also constitutes a major factor impacting MSSs. Furthermore, the results show that the self-reported MSSs that occurred in the overall number of participants over the last 12 months preceding the completion of the questionnaire affected body areas such as wrists and hands (65%), knees (57%), and lower back (52%). A high percentage (41%) of participants also reported symptoms on their shoulders and upper back.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-113
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Forest Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date9 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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