Objective: We sought to identify what types of motions create difficulties for nurses with knee pain or low back pain.
Methods: We conducted a survey on musculoskeletal diseases to examine the difficulties of nurses with knee pain or low back pain reported in the Japan Nursesʼ Health Study (JNHS), a cohort study investigating the health of female nurses in Japan. We asked the open-ended question, “What kind of motions give you difficulty in your work duties?” in addition to the five-question Geriatric Locomotive Function Scale (GLFS-5). We used the KJ method to analyze the responses.
Results: Nurses with knee pain reported difficulty with: sitting on the floor, bending down, bending and extending their knees, standing up, twisting their body, walking, running, going up and down stairs, keeping the same position, lifting heavy loads. Nurses with low back pain reported difficulty with: lying down, sitting, standing up, half-seated posture, starting movement, reaching for high places, bending backward, twisting their body, walking, going up and down stairs, keeping the same position, lifting heavy loads.
Conclusions: We found that the four motion-related questions—on standing and sitting from the floor, keeping standing posture, going up and down stairs, and lifting heavy loads—in the JNHS eighth year questionnaire included most of the difficult motions that nurses indicated. We can contain all the major difficult motions among working nurses with musculoskeletal disorders if we add walking briskly and half-seated posture to the four motions.