Document Type : Original Articles


1 Department of Sport Injuries and Corrective Exercises, Islamic Azad University Astara Branch, Astara, Iran

2 Research Center for Health Sciences, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

3 Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

5 Hearing Disorders Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran


Background: The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the largest disruption in
education systems in human history. The use of online teaching increased daily,
finally affecting more than 200 million students worldwide. The aim of the
present study was to compare the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in female
students during the Covid-19 pandemic with the pre-pandemic period.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed in two stages: before
the Covid-19 pandemic (October to December 2019) and during the
Covid-19 pandemic (January to February 2020). The Nordic Musculoskeletal
Questionnaire (NMQ) was used to determine the musculoskeletal pain points.
Data was analyzed using the t-test, McNemar test, and logistic regression in
SPSS ver. 22, and a P<0.05 was considered as the significance level.
Results: A significant decrease in the hours of physical activity (PA) was observed
during the pandemic (3.17±2.17 hours/week) (P<0.001) compared to the prepandemic
period (4.76±4.92 hours/week), and a significant increase in hours of
using e-learning aids was seen during the pandemic (45.29±23.24 hours/week)
compared to the pre-pandemic period (13.01) (P<0.001). The McNemar test
revealed a significant difference in musculoskeletal pain in nine areas before and
during the Covid-19 pandemic (P<0.001). The results of the regression test also
showed that increasing the hours of online teaching and decreasing the hours of
PA increased the odds ratios of increasing musculoskeletal pain.
Conclusion: Based on the present results, changing the teaching method during
the Covid-19 pandemic and reducing physical activity has led to an increase in
musculoskeletal pain in students.


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