Objective: We aimed to determine prevalence of musculoskeletal pain (MSP), associated risk factors, and pain-coping strategies among secondary school teachers (SSTs) in Suva, Fiji.
Methodology: We recruited 262 SSTs of both genders, with at least one year teaching experience, from 14 secondary schools by convenience sampling. Data related to presence of MSP, pain increasing and decreasing factors were collected.
Results: MSP prevalence at any site during last 12 months was 88.9%. Neck pain (48.5%) was the most common, followed by shoulder pain (46.6%) and then lower-back pain (45.4%). Female gender (p=0.000) and a higher children number (p=0.005) were associated with MSP. Prologned standing (p=0.000) and sitting (p=0.025), bending (p=0.045) and carrying weight (p=0.005) were significant pain increasing factors. Taking rest and lying down (p=0.000), heat/cold therapy (p=0.049), massage (p=0.001) and taking sick-leaves (p=0.001) were significant pain decreasing factors.
Conclusion: We found a high MSP prevalence especially in neck, shoulder and lower-back. MSP risk was higher in females and in those with higher children number. Prologned standing and sitting, bending and carrying weight were pain increasing factors while taking rest, thermal therapy, massage and taking sick-leaves were pain decreasing factors. There is acute need for raising awareness of risk factors, coping strategies and consequences of musculoskeletal disorders among SSTs in Fiji.
Musculoskeletal pain, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, occupational health.