Musculoskeletal disorders

Worker with back pain


Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are some of the most common work-related ailments: they affect millions of workers and cost employers in lost productivity. There is growing evidence that links MSDs with psychosocial risk factors such as:

  • high workloads
  • tight deadlines
  • lack of control of the work and working methods
  • low autonomy and,
  • low job satisfaction.

This is especially the case when combined with physical risks, having an adverse effect on controlling MSDs.

IOSH activities

As part of our Occupational health toolkit, IOSH has produced guidance on managing MSDs, which includes links to a range of additional resources.

We have funded research including:

  • Move more – which investigates the impact of behaviour change techniques on break-taking behaviour in an office environment
  • Hands on – which discusses the prevalence of work-related upper limb disorders in hand-intensive healthcare occupations.

Wider audience

If you’re looking for general guidance on the topic of MSDs, visit:

This video was created by Napo. For more videos from them, take a look at their Youtube channel.