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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31829889c1
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The Healthy LifeWorks Project: The Effect of a Comprehensive Workplace Wellness Program on the Prevalence and Severity of Musculoskeletal Disorders in a Canadian Government Department

Curwin, Sandra PhD; Allt, Jane MPA; Szpilfogel, Claudine MSc; Makrides, Lydia PhD

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Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a comprehensive workplace wellness program on the prevalence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders in a Canadian government department.

Methods: The Healthy LifeWorks program was developed, implemented, and evaluated over a 4-year period. A total of 233 employees completed the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire before and after the program to determine the prevalence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders.

Results: There was an approximately 10% decrease in the 12-month prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, ranging from 4% for hip/thigh problems to 12% for lower and upper back problems. The proportion of people reporting that a musculoskeletal disorder interfered with their normal work during the past 12 months decreased from 83% to 46%.

Conclusions: Comprehensive wellness, including educational sessions on posture, ergonomics, and joint health, results in improved musculoskeletal health.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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