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Musculoskeletal discomfort of music teachers: an eight-year perspective and psychosocial work factors
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
1998 (English)In: International journal of occupational and environmental health, ISSN 1077-3525, E-ISSN 2049-3967, Vol. 4, no 2, 89-98 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Musicians at all levels of performance, especially string players, are known to have a high prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The disorders seem to be most common in the neck, shoulders and low back. In 1988, a survey of the work-related musculoskeletal disorders of 36 music teachers was carried out at a music school in northern Sweden. In 1996, the teachers were reinvestigated. The study also included an investigation of the psychosocial work environment according to the Karasek demand-control theory, as well as measurements of upper-arm elevation during a working day in five violin teachers. The results showed that music teachers, like other professional musicians, often experience discomfort in the neck, shoulders, and low back. The discomfort tended to be of long duration, increasing over the years. The psychosocial work environment was characterized by high psychological demands and low authority over decisions. This was compensated for through good social support. The work required skill and creativity but was monotonous. The measurements of upper-arm elevation indicated considerable variations in shoulder positions between teachers. There were also differences in the work done with the right and left arms, with repetitive motions more commonly involving the right arm. Approximately a fourth of the working day was spent with the arm elevated 30-90 degrees. The relationships between upper-arm movements and ratings of discomfort were moderate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Forlaget Thomson, 1998. Vol. 4, no 2, 89-98 p.
National Category
Physiotherapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100314ISI: 10026470OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-100314DiVA: diva2:791383
Projects
digitalisering@umu
Available from: 2015-02-27 Created: 2015-02-27 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Musicianship and teaching: aspects of musculoskeletal disorders, physical and psychosocial work factors in musicians with focus on music teachers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Musicianship and teaching: aspects of musculoskeletal disorders, physical and psychosocial work factors in musicians with focus on music teachers
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Musculoskeletal disorders are common among musicians at all levels of performance. Since music teachers train our future musicians it is important to understand their work environment. By creating good examples of a healthy work environment, they can teach their students how to stay healthy and to prevent pain. The aim of this thesis was to study the work environment of music teachers at municipal music schools, with regard to physical and psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal disorders with the focus on neck and shoulder disorders. An additional aim was to investigate the variability of the playing technique in string players and to investigate if they could play with greater variation in the trapezius muscle activity pattern after a training intervention program.

In a cross-sectional study at 23 municipal music schools, 171 out of the 208 (82%) music teachers reported that they had experienced work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) during the previous year. Women reported significantly more symptoms in the neck, the shoulders and the upper back compared to men. Both physical and psychosocial work factors were associated with neck and shoulder disorders. For women “high mental work demands” and “teaching at many schools” could be seen as risk factors and for men “lifting”, “playing the guitar” and “low social support at work” were risk factors.

The occurrence of WMSDs was also investigated, over an eight-year period, in music teachers at one music school. The result showed that neck, shoulder and lower back disorders were common and tended to be of long duration and to increase over the years.

In an interview study, nine music teachers focused on what they perceived to be important for their health and well-being. Replenishing and using up energy was found to be the core category. Creativity in the music and working with other musicians were perceived as sources of energy, while the goals of the organisation were experienced as stressful and used up energy. Whether the work was regarded as pedagogical or musical could affect the perception of health and the strategies for dealing with the strains of work.

In two studies using electromyography, the variation in the trapezius muscle activity pattern in string musicians was investigated. The results suggested that each musician could repeat their muscular activity pattern in a similar way between two playing sessions. No difference was found in the trapezius muscle activity between five violinists who trained basic Body Awareness Therapy (BAT), a technique having its roots in Tai Chi Chuan tradition, compared to a reference group of nine violinists who did not take part in any training. However, the training group perceived positive changes in breathing, muscular tension, postural control and concentration during practice sessions.

Neck and shoulder disorders were associated with physical and psychosocial factors at work. A process of replenishing and using up energy was important for music teachers’ health. The playing technique in string musicians seemed to be repeatable but difficult to affect over a short-term period. For future musicians it is crucial to learn good working technique at an early age. In the learning process the music teacher is a vital role model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2003. 88 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 825
Keyword
music, musician, teaching, occupational, musculoskeletal, psychosocial aspect, mind-body, tai chi chuan, basic body awareness therapy, electromyography
National Category
Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-99338 (URN)91-7305-388-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-05-09, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00
Supervisors
Projects
digitalisering@umu
Note

Diss. (sammanfattning) Umeå : Univ., 2003, Härtill 5 uppsatser

Available from: 2015-02-27 Created: 2015-02-06 Last updated: 2015-04-08Bibliographically approved

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