DOI: 10.5176/2251-3833_GHC14.38

Authors: D.S. Rajapaksha and S.N.Silva


Abstract: This study was conducted to assess the physical health problems among government school teachers due to their occupation. Many preventive measures are being taken by the educational department of Sri Lanka to safeguard teachers’ physical well being within the academic premises. It was highlighted by previous researches, that the negligence of preventive measures by younger teaching staff has lead to future circumstances.
Objectives of the study were to assess the occupational, physical health issues among government school teachers in Tangalle division, Hambanthota district, Sri lanka; and to Identify different types of occupational health issues and possible causes for them to occur.
A descriptive study on teachers from H/Wijayaba National college,Hungama, Hambanthota district, Sri Lanka was done, using a number of 72 conveniently selected samples. Data was collected using a self administered questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Out of 72 teachers who were been assessed, 38{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} was over 10 years work experience and all have experienced minimum one physical issue at least one physical issue. Out of the 26{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465}of the teachers whose experience was 1- 5 years,45{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465}of them to have no physical problems at all. Out of whole population 34{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} thought there was a relationship between teaching as a job and physical health problems while 46{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} thought the opposite. Out of all the health issues identified 23{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} was gastritis, 20.5{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} was knee pain, 17.8{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} was back pain, and 13.7{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} wheezing. Out of the teachers who had back pain 76.92{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} were found to be standing for prolonged periods; 76.92{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} used black boards regularly and 69.23{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} did paper work for prolonged durations. Out of those who had knee and shoulder pain, 93.33{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} were always standing for prolonged periods; 73.33{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} used blackboards and 80{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} did paper work. Out of those with wheezing 80{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} used blackboards, 70 {6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} were exposed to dust and 80{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} were always exposed to chalk dust.
The study revealed that majority of the government teachers are victims of a common set of physical health issues. And those common physical health problems among teachers are directly and indirectly influenced by the occupational habits and activities. This study also brought up the need to address the upgrading of preventing measures. therefore it enlarges the necessity to establish informative campaigns among government schools.

Keywords: Physical health problems, Occupation, Government teachers, Sri Lanka, Risk factors

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