A Review of Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Rubber Tappers in Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Sri Lanka

  • Siti Nurhafizah Saleeza Ramlee UPNM
  • Liley Afzani Saidi
  • Wan Su Emi Yusnita Wan Yusof
  • Nur Haffiza Rahaman
  • Rayyan Cheong Tian Ming Abdullah


Abstract: Rubber tapping is regarded as an occupational risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The impact of MSDs on the individual and their ability to work varies significantly from person to person. MSDs can cause work-limiting pain and fatigue which many people feel unable to disclose. A literature review of 14 papers on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among rubber tappers research in four selected countries Thailand, India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. The highest number of articles were identified from Thailand, the country having the highest production of rubber. Follow by India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.  Ergonomic risk factors cause wide range of occupational related diseases among agriculture workers especially rubber plantation population. In view of limited study on prevalence of MSD among rubber tapper in Malaysia, this study was attempted to determine the prevalence of MSD among rubber tapper based on article selection. The highest number of articles were identified from Thailand, the country having the highest production of rubber.



Anjali, S. (2021). Musculoskeletal symptoms and ergonomic risk assessment among plantation workers–a cross-sectional study in Kottayam and Idukki districts of Kerala (Doctoral dissertation, SCTIMST).

Asyraf, C. D., Rosnah, M. Y., & Zulkiflle, L. (2007). A preliminary of prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among Malaysia rubber tappers. Proceeding of Agriculture Ergonomics Development Conference IEA Press, Kuala Lumpur

Awaluddin, S. M., Mahjom, M., Lim, K. K., Shawaluddin, N. S., & Tuan Lah, T. M. A. (2023). Occupational disease and injury in Malaysia: a thematic review of literature from 2016 to 2021. Journal of environmental and public health, 2023.

Bensa-Ard, N., Tuntiseranee, P., & Anuntaseree, S. (2004). Work conditions and prevalence of musculoskeletal pain among para-rubber planters: a case study in Tambon Nakleua, Kantang District, Trang Province. Songklanagarind Medical Journal, 22(2), 101-110.

Boonphadh, P. (2008). The perceived effects of work on health of rubber farmers in southern Thailand: a dissertation presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (Doctoral dissertation, Massey University).

Chokprasit, P., Yimthiang, S., & Veerasakul, S. (2022). Predictors of Low Back Pain Risk among Rubber Harvesters. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(17), 10492.

Doi, M. A. C., Yusuff, R. M., & Leman, Z. (2007). A preliminary study of prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among Malaysian rubber tappers. Age, 45, 25-78.

Ganesh, C. S., & Krishnan, R. (2016). A review of occupational injury research in Malaysia. Med J Malaysia, 71(1), 100-4.

Inraksa, S., Sungkhapong, A., & Pochana, K. (2017). Prevalence And Risk Factors of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Rubber Tappers: A Case Study In Phatthalung Province, Thailand. International Journal of Health & Medical Sciences, 3(1).

Makudapathy, S. S. (2010). A Cross-Sectional Study On The Health Status Of Rubber Tappers Of Sullia In South India (Doctoral dissertation, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (India)).

McMillan, M., Trask, C., Dosman, J., Hagel, L., Pickett, W., & Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study Team. (2015). Prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among Saskatchewan farmers. Journal of agromedicine, 20(3), 292-301.

Meksawi, S., Tangtrakulwanich, B., & Chongsuvivatwong, V. (2012). Musculoskeletal problems and ergonomic risk assessment in rubber tappers: A community-based study in southern Thailand. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 42(1), 129-135.

Mikhaylov, I., Sukhareva, K., Andriasyan, Y. O., Popov, A. A., & Vorontsov, N. (2016, November). Mechanochemical modification of natural rubber. In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 1783, No. 1). AIP Publishing.

Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry (MOA) and Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) (2005).

Ojha, P., & Kwatra, S. (2016). Development of MSD among the farm women involved in traditional and mechanized method of rice cultivation of northern India.

Osborne, A., Blake, C., McNamara, J., Meredith, D., Phelan, J., & Cunningham, C. (2010). Musculoskeletal disorders among Irish farmers. Occupational Medicine, 60(8), 598-603.

Reddy, V. D., Kumar, B. S., & Uzma, N. (2012). Lung function parameters, neck pain and associated factors among male rubber tapping workers in Kerala. Int J Pharm Med & Bio Sc, 1(2), 43-8.

Shan, C. L., Adon, M. Y. B., Abd Rahman, A. B., Hassan, S. T. S., & Ismail, K. B. (2012). Prevalence of neck pain and associated factors with personal characteristics, physical workloads and psychosocial among male rubber workers in FELDA settlement Malaysia. Global journal of health science, 4(1), 94.

Stankevitz, K., Schoenfisch, A., de Silva, V., Tharindra, H., Stroo, M., & Ostbye, T. (2016). Prevalence and risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders among Sri Lankan rubber tappers. International journal of occupational and environmental health, 22(2), 91-98.

Udom C, Kanlayanaphotporn R, Janwantanakul P. Predictors for nonspecific low back pain in rubber farmers: a 1-year prospective cohort study. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2019; 31(1):7-17

Udom, C., Janwantanakul, P., & Kanlayanaphotporn, R. (2016). The prevalence of low back pain and its associated factors in Thai rubber farmers. Journal of occupational health, 58(6), 534-542.

Varghese, A., & Panicker, V. V. (2022). Effect of MSDs and scope of ergonomic interventions among rubber processing workers: A systematic review. La Medicina del Lavoro, 113(4).

Varghese, A., & Panicker, V. V. (2022). Impact of musculoskeletal disorders on various agricultural operations: a systematic review. Sādhanā, 47(1), 46.

Varghese, A., Panicker, V. V., Prasad, A., Sam, A. P., Uzhuvathu, A. A., & Ramesh, A. (2022, August). Ergonomic Risk Assessment of Rubber Tappers Using Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). In International Conference on Recent Advances in Mechanical Engineering Research and Development (pp. 175-185). Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore.

Vasanth, D., Ramesh, N., Fathima, F. N., Fernandez, R., Jennifer, S., & Joseph, B. (2015). Prevalence, pattern, and factors associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders among pluckers in a tea plantation in Tamil Nadu, India. Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 19(3), 167.

Walker-bone, K. & Palmer, K. T. (2002). Musculoskeletal disorders in farmers and farm workers. Journal of Occupational Medicine, 52 (8), 441-450. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/occmed/52.8.441

Woolf, A. D., & Pfleger, B. (2003). Burden of major musculoskeletal conditions. Bulletin of the world health organization, 81
How to Cite
RAMLEE, Siti Nurhafizah Saleeza et al. A Review of Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Rubber Tappers in Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Sri Lanka. Asian Journal of Research in Education and Social Sciences, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 315-320, mar. 2024. Available at: <https://myjms.mohe.gov.my/index.php/ajress/article/view/25997>. Date accessed: 19 may 2024.
English Section