Skip to main content


Table 2 Perceived strategies (current and potential) to reduce work related musculoskeletal disorders amongst physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

From: Work related musculoskeletal disorders amongst therapists in physically demanding roles: qualitative analysis of risk factors and strategies for prevention

Departmental or Organisational Work load & work allocation Work Practices Work Environment & Equipment Physical Condition or Capacity Education and Training
Factors relating to how a department or organisation is run Factors relating to how the work is distributed & how staff manage their workload s Factors relating to how the work is actually performed Factors relating to the physical environment and resources Factors relating to an individual's physical capacity & what is required to maintain this Factors relating to education and training
1. Rotational positions 1. Taking sufficient breaks 1. Use of therapy assistants 1. Availability of equipment 1. Own physical fitness & condition 1. Manual handling training
2. Appropriate staffing levels 2. Management of workload 2. Modification of treatment techniques 2. Having appropriate equipment 2. Access to health & fitness facilities 2. General competencies & training
3. Appropriate workloads 3. Appropriate workload 3. Applying ergonomic principles 3. Modifying clinical environment or setup 3. Work based fitness & conditioning 3. Professional development
4. Encourage staff health & fitness 4. Mixed patient caseload 4. Use of equipment 4. Modifying work station setup 4. Capacity to self manage 4. Training in use of equipment
5. Availability of staffing 5. Inclusion of non clinical tasks 5. Modification of treatment approach 5. Storage of equipment 5. Staff exercise classes  
6. Provision of Injury management strategies 6. Sharing of workloads 6. Avoiding particular tasks or activities 6. Maintenance of equipment 6. Early treatment  
7. Opportunities for change of role 7. Pacing of work activities 7. Application of manual handling skills 7. Mechanisms to transport equipment 7. Private physiotherapy treatment  
8. Funding & resources   8. Assistance of other therapists 8. Consultation for equipment purchase & acquisition 8. Fit for job assessments  
9. Culture of injury reporting culture    9. Appropriate vehicles   
10. Appropriate employer & consumer expectations      
11. Part time positions      
12. Sick leave cover      
13. Mixed/split rotations      
14. Management of rostered overtime      
15. Team building