Imperial to be part of new UK research centre to tackle musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace

Imperial College will be part of the new national research centre Arthritis Research UK/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal  Health and Work, which aims to tackle musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.

Researchers at the £1.4m Arthritis Research UK/MRC Centre for Musculoskeletal  Health and Work,  led by the University of Southampton, aim to find cost-effective ways of reducing the impact of conditions that affect the muscles, joints and bones on people’s employment and productivity, with benefits for patients, employers and society as a whole.

Prof Alison McGregor from the MSk Lab in Surgery, will be working in collaboration with Prof Anthony Bull from the Department of Engineering. Prof McGregor made the following comment about the work they will be involved in:

The project will be collaborating with Occupational Health at Guys and St Thomas’ and is looking at psychological and mechanical risk factors for low back pain. We are going to recruit and follow a cohort of 200 nurses looking at their spinal function and psychological profiles on recruitment and will then repeat the measure if they report low back pain. The focus is looking at injury mechanisms with a view to developing preventative strategies or screening tools.

Director of the new centre, Professor David Coggon, said: “Musculoskeletal conditions are a major cause of sickness absence and job loss.  We’re enormously excited about our new centre which we hope will lead to new ways of preventing their occurrence, and helping employees who are affected to stay in productive work.”

The centre will focus its research on the three main musculoskeletal causes of work disability – back, neck and arm pain, osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. A special theme will be the impact of these conditions on older people who are approaching normal retirement age.

Find out more from the MRC news page.


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