Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Users Online: 62


Home  | About Us | Editors | Search | Ahead Of Print | Current Issue | Archives | Submit Article | Instructions | Subscribe | Contacts | Login 

Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 215-222

Evaluation and analysis of new design traditional handloom performance in reducing work musculoskeletal disorders among Sarong Samarinda female weavers: A quasi-experimental study

1 Departement Occupational Health and Safety, Faculty of Public Health, Mulawarman University, Samarinda, Indonesia
2 Departement of Agricultural Product Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Mulawarman University, Samarinda, Indonesia

Date of Submission17-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance01-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication18-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Iwan Muhamad Ramdan
Faculty of Public Health, Mulawarman University, Jl. Sambaliung, Kampus Gunung Kelua, Samarinda 75119
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijciis.ijciis_22_21

Rights and Permissions

Background: Work musculoskeletal disorder (WMSDs) are occupational health problems whose prevalence is still high in various countries. Ergonomic interventions are the most successful approach to reducing WMSDs. This study evaluated the effect of redesign traditional handloom on the work posture and musculoskeletal disorders of Samarinda Sarong traditional weavers.
Methods: The quasi-experiment has been carried out on 40 traditional weavers from February to September 2019 in Samarinda, Indonesia. The weaver using the new design handloom then evaluated its impact on work posture and WMSDs in the first 3 months and the second 3 months. Work posture was assessed using Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). WMSDs were assessed using a Nordic Body Map questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Friedman and Dunn's test.
Results: The RULA score decreased from 7 to 3 and 2, while the WMSD risk at “very high” level decreased from 12.5% to 7.5% and 2.5% and the WMSD at “high” risk level decreased from 87.5% to 10.0% and 5.0% following the introducing of the new design traditional handloom at 3 and 6 months, respectively.
Conclusions: The new design of the traditional handloom on Sarong Samarinda female weavers has succeeded in improving work posture and reducing WMSDs.

Keywords: Ergonomics, musculoskeletal, posture, work

How to cite this article:
Ramdan IM, Candra KP. Evaluation and analysis of new design traditional handloom performance in reducing work musculoskeletal disorders among Sarong Samarinda female weavers: A quasi-experimental study. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci 2021;11:215-22

How to cite this URL:
Ramdan IM, Candra KP. Evaluation and analysis of new design traditional handloom performance in reducing work musculoskeletal disorders among Sarong Samarinda female weavers: A quasi-experimental study. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Mar 22];11:215-22. Available from: https://www.ijciis.org/text.asp?2021/11/4/215/332869

   Introduction Top

Work musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are occupational health problems that still often occur in developing and developed countries,[1] including the USA,[2] European countries,[3] and Korea as well as Japan.[4]

The leading cause of WMSDs is manual material handling work performing repetitive loads carrying, holding, lifting, lowering, pushing, and pulling activities.[5] Other studies showed that awkward postures, prolonged static work, repetitive movements, forceful exertions, and vibrations are the other common risk factor of WMSDs.[6],[7] WMSDs adversely affect individual workers and business activities, including reducing work productivity and well-being of workers, increasing medical cost,[8],[9],[10] decreasing job satisfaction,[11] degrading the quality of the physical and mental dimensions of health, and causing daily activity limitation.[12] A previous research showed that ergonomic interventions were the most successful interventions in preventing or reducing the incidence of WMSDs.[3],[13]

A recent study showed that the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among female weavers using handlooms in Indonesia was found to be approximately 85%, with the incidence of low, moderate, and high musculoskeletal pain ratings at 15.0, 7.5, and 77.5, respectively. The skeletal muscle pain was primarily in the lower neck, shoulders, upper hands, bottom, waist, thighs, calves, and ankles. MSDs were associated with the education level, work experience, prolonged sitting time, work posture, and body anthropometry of each weaver. Work posture was the dominant variable responsible for MSD prevalence.[14] To overcome the problems, an advanced study to design new traditional handloom based on anthropometry data was constructed.[15]

   Methods Top

Experimental design and data analysis

The old and new design traditional handloom dimensions in this study are presented in [Table 1].[15] While the construction of the new design chair and table of traditional handloom are presented in [Figure 1] and [Figure 2], respectively. A quasi-experiment[16],[17] of 40 female weavers of Samarinda Sarong in Samarinda, Indonesia, was conducted from February to September 2019.
Table 1: Old and new design traditional handloom dimensions

Click here to view
Figure 1: Handloom chair. A: Front/rear legs, B: Cushion/seat, C: Armrest, D: Backrest adjuster (manual), E: Backrest

Click here to view
Figure 2: Handloom table. A: Footstep, B: Cloth boom, C: Chest block, D: Swing arm, E: Weaving comb, F: Warp boom, G: Gun/Beater, H: Lade for threading, I: Handloom frame, J: Batting rod

Click here to view

The weavers regularly used the new design of traditional handloom during the study. The work posture and WMSDs were measured 3 and 6 months after introducing the traditional handloom to the female weaver of Samarinda Sarong. Most weavers (92%) worked for 4–8 h a day for 6 days per week. Work posture and WMSD data using old traditional handloom (before introducing the new design traditional handloom) on the weavers were used as the baseline data.

Work posture data (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment [RULA] score), WMSD data (Nordic Body Map [NBM] category) for pain level, and the risk category were analyzed by Friedman test followed by Dunn's test (P = 0.05).

Measurement of work posture and work musculoskeletal disorder complaint

The weavers' work posture of musculoskeletal operator system was determined by fast judgment using RULA as suggested by McAtammney and Corlet,[18] with four levels, i.e., low (0-20), medium (21-41), high (42-62) and very high (63-84). WMSD complaint of the weavers was measured by standardized NBM questionnaire as suggested by Kourinka et al.,[19] with four levels, i.e., low (1-2), medium (3-4), high (5-6) and very high (7+) [Table 2].
Table 2: The risk level of work posture and work musculoskeletal disorders and recommendation

Click here to view

   Results Top

In the present study, at first, a total number of 40 female weavers, who used old traditional handloom, were determined for handloom performance (work posture, MSD pain, and risk category). By introducing the new design traditional handloom, the handloom performance was determined by measure work posture, MSD pain, and risk category of the female weavers after 3 and 6 months. All the weavers completed the experiment without any withdrawal. The flow of the present study is presented in [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Research flowchart. WMSDs: Work Musculoskeletal disorders, RULA: Rapid Upper Limb Assessment, NBM: Nordic Body Map

Click here to view

Respondents' characteristics

Most weavers are at the age of 38–44 (35%) and 45–51 years (17.5%). Elementary school is the dominant education background level (52.2%), and 60% have working experience of fewer than 5 years. The majority of the weavers have working hours per day of 4–8 h (92.5%) [Table 3].
Table 3: Respondent characteristics of the female weavers (n<40)

Click here to view

Improvement of weaver's work posture

Most of the weavers have low work posture at the beginning of the experiment (before introducing the new design traditional handloom) in the arm, wrist, neck, trunk, and leg segment, i.e. 52.5% and 45.0% for 7 and 6 of RULA score (C score) [Table 4]a, which means that the work posture of weavers using old design traditional handloom was “high” and “very high” risk. The condition needs investigation and changes implementation, as also recommended by a previous study.[14]
Table 4: The acceptance and the change level of female Sarong Samarinda weavers (n<40) Work-musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) on using old and new traditional handloom

Click here to view

The weaver's work posture improved significantly (P < 0.001) [Table 4]b following introducing a new design of traditional handloom. The RULA score (C score) decreased from 7 to 3 and 2 after introducing the new design traditional handloom at 3 and 6 months.

Declining of work musculoskeletal disorder pain and risk

The WMSD pain of the most upper and lower body part decreased significantly (P < 0.001) except for the left elbow (P = 0.991) [Table 5] and right leg wrist (P = 0.356) [Table 6]. The data show that the new design of traditional handloom is very compatible with the female weavers. The more they use the new design handloom, the more decreasing of WMSDs occurred. The WMSD risk of the female weavers decreased significantly (P < 0.001)following introducing of the new design traditional handloom [Table 7], which the detail data is presented at [Supplementary Table 1]. The WMSD risk at “very high” risk level of the female weaver decreased from 12.5% to 7.5% and 2.5% at 3 and 6 months, respectively, following introducing of the new design handloom. The WMSDs at “high” risk level decreased from 87.5% to 10.0% and 5.0% at 3 and 6 months of introducing the new design handloom, respectively.
Table 5: The pain level of musculoskeletal disorder symptoms in upper body parts (based on Nordic Body Map) of female Sarong Samarinda weavers (n<40) and performance of the old and new design traditional handloom

Click here to view
Table 6: The risk level of musculoskeletal disorder symptoms in the lower body part (based on Nordic Body Map) of female Sarong Samarinda weavers (n<40) and performance of old and new design traditional handloom

Click here to view
Table 7: Effect of new design traditional handloom introduction on Nordic Body Map score and risk category of a female weaver

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

The newly designed handloom with anthropometry based has significantly improved the female weavers' work posture. The work posture was improved by fixing the weaving chair's height and the height of the weaving table.[15] A good work posture achieved in this study indicated that the position of head, neck, trunk, and shoulders does not seem to deviate from a neutral position severely. Besides, the posture of the elbows is appropriate.

The underneath table height was lengthened to provide sufficient space on both legs of the weaver. The handloom's upper backrest height (the vertical distance from the top side of the seat surface to the highest point of the backrest) is set to > 47 cm, which is the ergonomic central key element in chair design to keep the sitting posture and healthy spine.[20] The handloom chair's height is designed based on the size of the popliteal height,[21] which effectively improved work posture and reduced the hazards associated with prolonged standing. A previous study showed that the changes in workstations in the spice packaging in a food factory line with the appropriate workers' anthropometric data reduced the awkward postures in the neck and shoulders.[22]

The addition of handloom chair backrest (the tilt can be adjusted at 90°–120°) significantly improved sitting posture and reduced complaints of WMSDs, especially on the back, waist, buttock, and bottom. In line with the previous studies, the chair's backrest is beneficial for reducing disc pressure and avoiding the risk of MSD and discomfort.[23]

In this research, we also added armrest height and armrest length for handloom chair and set 37.45 and 37.00 cm, respectively. It is intended to provide the opportunity for relaxation on the shoulder, upper and lower hand, elbow, and hand-wrist. In addition to armrest in the new design, traditional handloom could reduce WMSD complaints on these body parts. Following previous research, the appropriate height adjustment, sufficient armrests, and padding can reduce pressure on the forearms and elbows' undersides.[24],[25]

The primary modification of the traditional handloom in this study was in chair design. The anthropometric approach in designing the new traditional handloom resulted in an ergonomic chair of traditional handloom for the female weavers of Sarong Samarinda. In line with previous work that ergonomic chairs positively impact the reduction of WMSDs, such as arm and low back pain.[26],[27] Ergonomic interventions can have a beneficial effect on improving work posture and reducing MSDs among workers.[24],[28] The traditional handloom chair dimension in this study is recommended for traditional handloom in Southeast Asia due to the relatively same body dimension as the female weaver of Sarong Samarinda.[29] It is better than practicing exercises in between of using the old handloom, which only reduce a bit MSDs among the weavers.[30]


Advanced research is planned to design the handloom chairs with some different soft cushion materials to reduce the WMSD complaints on buttock and bottom muscles. Lee et al.[31] reported that chair cushion choice could distribute interface pressure differently.

   Conclusions Top

This study demonstrated that the new design of traditional handloom has succeeded in improving work posture and reducing WMSDs. The new design handloom dimension in this report enriches the consideration of designing a traditional handloom for weavers in the Southeast Asian region.

Research quality and ethics statement

This study was approved by the Ethical Commission of Health and Medical Research, Faculty of Medicine, Mulawarman University, Indonesia (Approval number 33/KEPK-FK/ IV/2018; Approval date Apr 9, 2018). Written informed consent was obtained from the participants prior to their participation. The authors followed applicable EQUATOR Network (http://www.equator-network.org/) guidelines during the conduct of this research project.


The authors are very grateful to all the traditional weavers who participated in this study.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was funded by the Higher Education Directorate of the Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education of Indonesia (Award number: 7/E/KPT/2019).

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Soroush A, Shamsi M, Izadi N, Heydarpour B, Samadzadeh S, Shahmohammadi A. Musculoskeletal disorders as common problems among Iranian nurses: A systematic review and meta-analysis study. Int J Prev Med 2018;9:27.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Ge H, Sun X, Liu J, Zhang C. The status of musculoskeletal disorders and its influence on the working ability of Oilworkers in Xinjiang, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018;15:1-10.  Back to cited text no. 2
Podniece Z, Taylor TN. Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders: Prevention Report. Vol. 4. Bilbao: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work; 2008; p. 105.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kim EA, Nakata M. Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Korea and Japan: A Comparative Description. Ann Occup Environ Med 2014;26:17.  Back to cited text no. 4
Daruis DD, Rosly AL, Abd Aziz I, Hishamuddin NS, Md Deros B. Ergonomic risk assessment of manual material handling at an automotive manufacturing company. Press Procedia 2017;5:317-24.  Back to cited text no. 5
Choobineh A, Tabatabaee SH, Behzadi M. Musculoskeletal problems among workers of an Iranian sugar-producing factory. Int J Occup Saf Ergon 2009;15:419-24.  Back to cited text no. 6
Hossain MD, Aftab A, Al Imam MH, Mahmud I, Chowdhury IA, Kabir RI, et al. Prevalence of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) and ergonomic risk assessment among readymade garment workers of Bangladesh: A cross sectional study. PLoS One 2018;13:e0200122.  Back to cited text no. 7
Lötters F, Meerding WJ, Burdorf A. Reduced productivity after sickness absence due to musculoskeletal disorders and its relation to health outcomes. Scand J Work Environ Health 2005;31:367-74.  Back to cited text no. 8
Bhattacharya A. Costs of occupational musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the United States. Int J Ind Ergon 2014;44:448-54.  Back to cited text no. 9
Dinar A, Susilowati IH, Azwar A, Indriyani K, Wirawan M. Analysis of ergonomic risk factors in relation to musculoskeletal disorder symptoms in office workers. KnE Life Sci 2018;4:16.  Back to cited text no. 10
Loghmani A, Golshiri P, Zamani A, Kheirmand M, Jafari N. Musculoskeletal symptoms and job satisfaction among office-workers: A cross-sectional study from Iran. Acta Med Acad 2013;42:46-54.  Back to cited text no. 11
Valsangkar S, Sai KS. Original article impact of musculoskeletal disorders and social determinants on health in construction workers. Int J Biol Med Res 2012;2:1727-30.  Back to cited text no. 12
Etuknwa AB, Humpheries S. A systematic review on the effectiveness of ergonomic training intervention in reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorder. J Nurs Heal Stud 2018;03:1-10.  Back to cited text no. 13
Ramdan IM, Candra KP, Fitri AR. Factors affecting musculoskeletal disorder prevalence among women weavers working with handlooms in Samarinda, Indonesia. Int J Occup Saf Ergon 2020;26:507-13.  Back to cited text no. 14
Ramdan IM, Candra KP, Lusiana D, Duma K. Redesign of the traditional handloom for sarong female – Weavers based on anthropometric data. Indian J Public Heal Res Dev 2019;10:983-8.  Back to cited text no. 15
Morgan GA, Gliner JA, Harmon RJ. Quasi-experimental designs. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2000;39:794-6.  Back to cited text no. 16
Marsden E, Torgerson CJ. Single group, pre- and post-test research designs : Some methodological concerns. Oxpord Rev Educ 2012;38:583-616.  Back to cited text no. 17
McAtamney L, Nigel Corlett E. RULA: A survey method for the investigation of work-related upper limb disorders. Appl Ergon 1993;24:91-9.  Back to cited text no. 18
Kuorinka I, Jonsson B, Kilbom A, Vinterberg H, Biering-Sørensen F, Andersson G, et al. Standardised Nordic questionnaires for the analysis of musculoskeletal symptoms. Appl Ergon 1987;18:233-7.  Back to cited text no. 19
Farooqui RM, Shahu R. Analysis of antrhropometric dimensions for sitting posture and chair design. Int J Innov i n Eng Technol A Rev 2016;6:221-4.  Back to cited text no. 20
Waters TR, Dick RB. Evidence of health risks associated with prolonged standing at work and intervention effectiveness. Rehabil Nurs 2015;40:148-65.  Back to cited text no. 21
Basahel AM. Evaluation of the impact of engineering ergonomic interventions on musculoskeletal hazards and psychosocial factors among packaging workers in a food factory. Int J Ergon 2016;6:1-17.  Back to cited text no. 22
Harrison DD, Harrison SO, Croft AC, Harrison DE, Troyanovich SJ. Sitting biomechanics, part II: optimal car driver's seat and optimal driver's spinal model. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23:37-47.  Back to cited text no. 23
Woo EH, White P, Lai CW. Ergonomics standards and guidelines for computer workstation design and the impact on users' health-A review. Ergonomics 2016;59:464-75.  Back to cited text no. 24
Ismaila SO, Musa AI, Adejuyigbe SB, Akinyemi OD. Anthropometric design of furniture for use in tertiary institutions in Abeokuta, South-Western Nigeria. Eng Rev 2013;33:179-92.  Back to cited text no. 25
Leyshon R, Chalova K, Gerson L, Savtchenko A, Zakrzewski R, Howie A, et al. Ergonomic interventions for office workers with musculoskeletal disorders: A systematic review. Work 2010;35:335-48.  Back to cited text no. 26
Robertson M, Amick BC 3rd, DeRango K, Rooney T, Bazzani L, Harrist R, et al. The effects of an office ergonomics training and chair intervention on worker knowledge, behavior and musculoskeletal risk. Appl Ergon 2009;40:124-35.  Back to cited text no. 27
Habibi E, Soury S. The effect of three ergonomics interventions on body posture and musculoskeletal disorders among stuff of Isfahan Province Gas Company. J Educ Health Promot 2015;4:65.  Back to cited text no. 28
Rahman NI, Md Dawal SZ, Yusoff N, Kamil NS. Anthropometric measurements among four Asian countries in designing sitting and standing workstations. Sadhana 2018;43:1-9.  Back to cited text no. 29
Ramdan IM, Azahra A. Menurunkan keluhan gangguan muskuloskeletal pada penenun tradisional sarung samarinda melalui pelatihan peregangan otot di tempat kerja (reducing complaints of musculoskeletal disorders in traditional samarinda sarong weavers through workplace muscle stre. J Abdimas BSI J Pengabdi Kpd Masy 2020;3:109-17.  Back to cited text no. 30
Lee SH, Park JS, Jung BK, Lee SA. Effects of different seat cushions on interface pressure distribution: A pilot study. J Phys Ther Sci 2016;28:227-30.  Back to cited text no. 31


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded79    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal