An updated review of the effect of work hours and shift work on musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the healthcare sector

Anna Arlinghaus, Céline Vetter, Johannes Gärtner

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are leading causes for sick days and long-term

disability, and nurses are amongst the most affected. While long weekly work hours

can increase MSD risk, the role of specific shift schedule characteristics in healthcare

is poorly understood. For this narrative review, 236 abstracts published since 2008

were screened, and 15 retained manuscripts are summarized for an updated synthesis

of the current evidence. In addition to long work hours, we identified night and shift

work as MSD risk factors, the latter especially for low back pain. Some studies showed

workload and individual factors as effect modifiers. Evidence for specific work

schedule characteristics was often not available or of limited quality, hampering the ability to draw further conclusions

Keywords: Nursing, Pain, Workload, Sleep, Working Time

Vol. 2/2022 - Article 2.3


© the authors 2017-2020. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) Creative commons