Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the rate of subjective mental workload (SMWL) and its correlation with musculoskeletal disorders among bank staff members in Kurdistan Province located in western Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 bank staff members in Kurdistan Province, Iran. The mental workload was assessed using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) computerized version. NASA-TLX is a multidimensional rating procedure that derives an overall workload score based on a weighted average of ratings on 6 subscales. These subscales include Mental Demands, Physical Demands, Temporal Demands, Performance, Effort, Effectiveness, and Frustration. The musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were documented with the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire and generic body diagram.
Results: Of the staff members, 78.5% experienced pain at least once during the past year in 1 of their 9 musculoskeletal body regions. The highest frequencies of pain were in the neck and lower back. The NASA-TLX estimated the Effort and Performance scales with mean ± SD of 72.8 ± 25.2 and 36 ± 22.6, respectively, as the maximal and minimal scores among the 6 subscales of SMWL. The statistical analysis of the data revealed that there was a significant correlation between the overall mental workload score and also among the 6 subscales of SMWL separately with MSDs (P < .05).
Conclusion: SMWL appears to be a risk factor in the incidence of MSDs, so that the odds of MSDs increased by 11% with each additional 1-point increase in SMWL score.
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