Chronotype, Sleep Characteristics, and Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Hospital Nurses

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Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) persist as the leading occupational injury, accounting for nearly half of nurses’ total occupational injuries. Musculoskeletal pain is a known cause of sleep disruption, and individuals with WMSDs that interfere with sleep often report more pain. Evening chronotype has been associated with poor sleep among nurses. However, the associations among chronotype, sleep, and WMSDs are still unclear, and were explored in the present study. A cross-sectional survey was administered to 397 nurses, with 47.4% reporting WMSDs. Robust Poisson regression modeling suggested that evening type (PR = 1.32, p < .05), prolonged sleep onset latency (PR = 1.37, p < .05), and using sleep-promoting substances (PR = 1.35, p < .01) were associated with increased risk of WMSDs among nurses, after adjusting for shift work, regular exercise, body mass index, and other covariates. This study suggests that well-designed evidence-based nonpharmacological interventions to improve sleep may reduce the risk of WMSDs among nurses.

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