Lower back pain exacerbated by challenging working conditions could be a significant cause of insomnia among firefighters, new research suggests.
The study, by researchers at Qazvin University of Medical Sciences in Iran and published by IOSH's journal Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, examined the prevalence musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in firefighters and its relationship with severity of insomnia.
A total of 118 firefighters were asked to fill in the questionnaire.
The study found that MSDs were present in more than half the participants, with lower back pain the most common complaint (30.5%).
One on five of the firefighters assessed had subclinical insomnia too, with 30% of them experiencing moderate to sever insomnia.
The findings come as an estimated 498,000 British workers suffered from MSDs caused, or made worse, by their current or past work in 2018-19, according to the UK Health and Safety Executive.
Researcher Dr Zohreh Yazdi said the results highlight 'the need for preventive activities to better protect the occupational health of this vulnerable group'.
View the paper here and access IOSH resources for MSDs here.