Adverse Effects of Prolonged Sitting Behaviour on the General Health and Posture of Medical Students
Keywords:Musculoskeletal ailments, sedentary lifestyle, sitting posture
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among Medical students and to correlate the musculoskeletal adverse effects with prolonged sitting and sitting posture.
Study Design: Analytical cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Study was conducted online among Medical Students studying in various medical institutions across Pakistan, from Nov 2021 to Apr 2022.
Methodology: Study included 144 Medical and Dental students, recruited through convenience sampling. Any participant currently suffering or recently recovered from a debilitating illness, physical disability, presently undergoing treatment for any chronic muscular or skeletal pain was not included in the study. A close-ended virtual questionnaire containing the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was used.
Results: Majority of respondents 100(69.4%) sat continuously for more than 2 hours while 44(30.6%) sat for less than 2 hours in a single seating. Results of the NMQ showed that most people had pain and discomfort in shoulder, upper back, lower back and hip. Pain in the lower back was the most common complaint 93(65%). Prolonged sitting (>2hours) was significantly associated with Lower back pain (p=0.004) and hip pain (p=0.019)
Conclusion: Prolonged sitting behaviour was associated with frequent complaints of lower back discomfort. Poor posture was demonstrated to cause pain in the shoulder and upper back regions. Active workstations, intermittent walks during breaks and usage of negative desks, as well as avoidance of forward leaning posture are suggested to improve working conditions.