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TitleRisk Factors of Low Back Pain Among Filipino Male Air-conditioned Bus Drivers
TagsBack Pain Vertebral Column Vertebra Pelvis Low Back Pain
File Size525.1 KB
Total Pages67
Table of Contents
                            This was used to determine demographic data and information about driving time, driving distance, driving posture, duration of employment as a driver and psychosocial factors.
	Figure 1.  Civil Status of Subjects
		Figure 7.  Back pain experience
		Table  8.  Mid back pain experience
		Figure 14.  Vibration Exposure
		Table 25.  Relationship of Insufficient Work Space and LBP
		Table 26.  Relationship of Abnormal Vibration and LBP
	Table 27.  Relationship of Uncomfortable Sitting Posture and LBP
	Table 34.  Relationship of Frequent Movement of Shoulders and LBP
	Table 39.  Relationship of Height and LBP
		4. Constrained Posture
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Risk Factors of Low Back Pain
Among Filipino Male

Air-conditioned Bus Drivers

A Research Presented to
The Special Studies Committee

of the
College of Public Health

University of the Philippines, Manila

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
In PH 199

Submitted by Group 8
Gail M. Culla

Felicidad Clare S. Martinez
Jay Patrick R. Santiago

Mia Marie M. Tad-y

Benjamin C. Vitasa, MD, MPH, PhD

23 February 2004

Page 2


The general objective of the study is to determine the risk factors associated
with low back pain among Filipino male air-conditioned bus drivers. It specifically
aims to describe the distribution of bus drivers according to age, long driving time,
vibration exposure, long distance driving, duration of employment, driving posture,
seat/workplace design and psychological factors; describe the distribution of bus
drivers with low back pain by age, long driving time, vibration exposure, long
distance driving, driving posture, seat/workplace design, and psychological factors;
and determine the association of different risk factors with low back pain adjusting
for the effects of confounders and other independent variables.

An analytical cross-sectional design was used. Three hundred seventy-eight
drivers of air-conditioned buses from eight bus companies located in an urban
cluster of bus stations were included as subjects.

A self-administered questionnaire was given to each subject to obtain data
on independent variables such as demography, long distance driving, driving
posture, seat design, vibration exposure, duration of employment as a bus driver,
psychological factors and long driving time. Anthropometric data were gathered
using a tape measure.

The outcome variable, low back pain was assessed based on questions
asked in the questionnaire, using as inclusion criteria, chronicity of at least 6 months,
recurring at least twice a week and 30 minutes duration per experience of pain.

Using logistic regression, the association of risk factors with low back pain
was determined. The identified risk factors included age, insufficient work space,
abnormal vibration, uncomfortable sitting posture, constrained posture, rough roads,
boredom, depression, frequent movement of back, frequent movement of shoulders,
long distance driving, long driving time, vibration exposure, employee satisfaction
with management and height.

Results showed that constrained posture, long distance driving and employee
satisfaction with management were significantly associated with low back pain.
Drivers with any one of these characteristics have greater odds of having low back
pain of 3, 2.2 and 2, respectively.


Page 33

presenting low back pain among bus drivers, companies will also benefit in terms

of less worker absence and improved productivity once low back pain complaints

are reduced.

Only air-conditioned bus drivers were included in the study. Simple

random sampling was not done in the selection of the bus drivers for reasons

that their schedules are not fixed and they usually are on a rotation basis.

Drivers also come at different times and based on the limited time available for

data collection, waiting for the driver based on the selection by random sampling

will not allow fulfillment of the sample size required. The subject’s availability

during the scheduled visits of the researchers and willingness to participate were

instead used as criteria for participation. A great degree of selection bias was not

expected since the bus drivers were informed that no treatment would be

provided if found with low back pain. Thus, drivers with low back pain were not

expected to volunteer which will unduly increase the number of LBP cases. In

addition, personal characteristics and risk factors were elicited which were

controlled for in the data analysis using logistic regression. Vibration exposure

was measured qualitatively using a questionnaire due to the unavailability of a

vibration meter for a quantitative measurement. However, the study attempted to

put together several risk factors affecting exposure to vibration such as seat

design and exposure to rough roads.

Based on the recommendation of the study’s ergonomics adviser,

quantitative analysis of anthropometric and ergonomic data cannot be performed


Page 34

due to limitations of time and data gathered. However, these data will be kept

for future use in related studies.

9.0 Results and Discussion

After data collection, the data were presented based on univariate, bivariate

and multivariate analysis.

9.1 Univariate Analysis

Figure 1. Civil Status of Subjects


95% Married0% Separated


95% of the drivers are married.

Table 1. Insufficient workspace experience

Insufficient workspace Frequency Percentage
No 143 37.8
Yes 235 62.2

A little over 60% of the drivers complained of experiencing insufficient

Figure 2. Abnormal vibration



81% of the drivers experienced abnormal vibration due to their current job.

Table 2. Uncomfortable sitting posture
Uncomfortable sitting posture Frequency Percentage

No 145 38.4
Yes 233 61.6

A little over 60% of the drivers experienced uncomfortable sitting posture at
their workstation.


Page 66

54. “Risk Factors for Chronic, Disabling Low-Back Pain: An Update for 2000.”
American Pain Society Bulletin 10.2. (March-April 2000).

55. Aboussafy, David. “Managing Chronic Pain.” 11 December, 2003:

56. Ehrlich, George E. “Low Back Pain.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization

81. (2003): 671-676.

57. Carron, Harold and Robert E. Mc Laughlin. Management of Low Back Pain.

Great Britain: John Wright and Sons, 1982.

58. Benja-athon, A. “Low Back Pain.” 24 August, 2003:

59. Beatty, Joy M. “Preventing Back Pain with Exercise.” (6 June 2003). 13
December 2003:

60. Gaba, A., R. Hipolito, C.M. Melendres, P.A. Pena, C.A. Sayo and H.D. Singson.

“Illumination and its Relationship with Worker Performance as Defined by the
Company Under Study.” Thesis. University of the Philippines, 2003.


Page 67

13.0 Acknowledgements

We would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the
following individuals without whose contribution we could not have completed this
Dr. Benjamin C. Vitasa, our beloved adviser, for the “lessons learned” which
have taught us to go deep into the heart of our research and for bringing out the best
in each of us.
Dr. Ethel M. Estanislao, our statistics adviser, whose knowledge has
enlightened our path towards the fulfillment of our research.
Prof. Jingky Lozano, for so graciously sharing her precious time and giving
us advice when we needed it most.
Prof. Rosebelle Azcuna, for lifting up our spirits with her insights during
moments of confusion.
Rowena Yra, Shelly La Rosa and Ricky Hipolito, the fun-loving and ever-
dependable research assistants, who have supported us through thick and thin.
The management of the bus companies for their cooperation in the conduct
of our study:
Mr. Jun Belen, station master, Tritran Bus Co.
Mr. Ruben Locegro, dispatcher, BBL Trans System
Mr. Armando Mendoza, station master, Victory Liner
Mr. Ricardo Mercado, Jr., traffic operation staff, Grand Star Bus Co.
Ms. Jennifer Bañaga, vice president, administration, Philtranco
Ms. Pepita Iraya, inspector, JAC Liner, Inc.
Ms. Lucita Limosnero, special trip coordinator, Green Star Bus Co.
Ms. Josephine Solomon, head, personnel dept, Pangasinan Five Star
The three hundred seventy eight bus drivers who participated in this study,
for their time and cooperation.
Classmates and friends, especially Emmanuel Paragas, Jr., Joseph Eufemio
Martinez and Dennis Pascual for their help and encouragement which has taught us
to move on.
Mrs. Felicidad Serafico and Jollibee for providing food which gave strength to
both our minds and bodies.
The CPH guards for giving us help and protection whenever we need one.
The song “Maybe” for serving as our inspiration and relaxation in the middle
of difficulties.
Our parents who has shown much love through their unfailing support and
Mr. Teodoro P. Culla and Mrs. Lourdes M. Culla
Mr. Edmar O. Martinez and Mrs. Maura S. Martinez
Mr. Joselito S. Santiago and Mrs. Precy R. Santiago
Mr. Leroy J. Tad-y and Mrs. Josie M. Tad-y
And above all, God Almighty, our light and our protection amidst the
challenges of life.


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