Back Pain Epidemic Hits Africa as Computer Use Increases

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Nigerian researchers have found dramatically high rates of back pain, neck pain and joint pain amongst computer users. Up to seventy five percent of those surveyed admitted to backache or neck ache. Bad work posture and poor workstation layout may be to blame for this level of back pain.

Third world countries face a potential epidemic of lower back pain and neck pain writes Scottish back pain expert, Doctor Gordon Cameron.(

Work related back pain and joint pain is well known in western countries. Large companies spend fortunes every year trying to prevent back pain related absence. Computer workstations and work related posture have been a major focus. Ergonomists - specialists in work related pain - have thrived in the current corporate environment.

Until this year, little attention has been devoted to work related back pain in Africa. A Nigerian university research team are now busy in the field. They studied more than one thousand computer users in six university campuses. What they found is staggering.

More than seventy percent of those surveyed complained of back pain or neck pain. Almost as many complained of shoulder, arm or hand pain. The back pain was scored as moderately severe by most respondents. These numbers are much higher than we see in the west.

The research team think that bad computer use posture is to blame and are concerned about how things will develop as computers become more widely available.

Author Biography:

Dr Gordon Cameron is a specialist in joint pain and back pain. He is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Website:

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Gordon Cameron