Remote working forced by COVID-19 pandemic and its influence on neck pain and low back pain among teachers
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Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum / Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland (Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu, Instytut Fizjoterapii, Zakład Fizjoterapii / Faculty of Health Sciences, Institute of Physiotherapy, Department of Physiotherapy)
Online publication date: 2021-12-09
Corresponding author
Weronika Maria Bartecka   

Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum, Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu, Instytut Fizjoterapii, Zakład Fizjoterapii, ul. Medyczna 9, 30-688 Kraków, Polska
Med Pr Work Health Saf. 2021;72(6):677-84
Background: Following the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the WHO, many people in the public sector have switched to remote work, including teachers. This could have contributed to the occurrence of back pain in this group. The aim of the study was to assess back pain in a group of teachers before and after the introduction of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Material and Methods: The study was based upon an online diagnostic survey and included 361 teachers and university lecturers from 16 provinces of Poland. In order to assess the intensity of pain, a Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) was used. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics 26 and Microsoft Excel 2021. The level of statistical significance was adopted on the level p < 0.05. Results: Among the surveyed teachers, the mean degree of declared cervical and lumbar spine pain increased significantly after the COVID-19 pandemic (p < 0.001). The mean value of the declared degree of cervical pain increased from 2.49±2.81 before the pandemic to 5.44±1.83 during the pandemic. Before the pandemic, the mean low back pain intensity was 2.81±2.73 on the NRS, while after the introduction of remote working, it was 5.53±2.20. Conclusions: There is a relationship between the occurrence of back pain and the change in the nature of work in the group of teachers in connection with the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a statistically significant increase in teachers’ back pain intensity since the introduction of distance learning. Depending on the number of hours spent at the computer, the average degree of the declared back pain in the study group increased statistically significantly. There is a need to set the goals of physioprophylaxis and introduce education in the field of ergonomics of computer work in a group of teachers. Med Pr. 2021;72(6):677–84
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