Work Disability and Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Teleworkers: A Scoping Review.

Publication date: Mar 28, 2024

This project aimed to examine the existing evidence on work disability or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among teleworkers. A scoping review was conducted in eight bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, ABI/Inform Global, EBM Reviews, Web of Science, Dissertations & Theses Global) from inception to June 2022. Out of 9192 records identified, a total of 79 selected articles representing 77 studies were retained. Most studies were published after 2019, aligning with the COVID-19 pandemic’s telework surge. Among the included papers, 51 addressed MSDs among teleworkers, 17 were on work disability, and 11 addressed both concepts. The studies were predominantly cross-sectional. Some trends are emerging, although study results are contradictory. Several papers reported increased musculoskeletal discomfort among teleworkers. Factors associated with MSDs among teleworkers include poor workstation setup, extended workdays, sedentary lifestyle, excessive devices use, and psychological factors. Regarding work disability, studies found that telework is associated with reduced absenteeism but increased presenteeism, with employees more likely to work while unwell from home than when on-site. Mixed results were found regarding teleworkers’ work ability and functioning. This paper provides an overview of the literature on work disability and MSDs among teleworkers. It identifies literature gaps, underlining the need for ergonomic improvements, long-term impact studies, a better conceptualization of presenteeism in the context of telework, and tailored interventions to enhance the telework experience.

Concepts Keywords
Covid Absenteeism
Disability Musculoskeletal disorders
June Presenteeism
Workdays Teleworking


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH lifestyle
disease IDO site
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide

Original Article

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