Employed workers often have family responsibilities such as childcare or homemaking. This dual burden may increase work-related health problems, particularly if there are conflicts between work and family responsibilities. This study assessed whether difficulty in work–life balance is associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) among Korean employees. Data from the population-based Korean Working Conditions Survey of 2011, including 28,640 male and 21,392 female workers, were used. Men and women were analyzed separately to investigate gender differences. MSD were defined as pain in the back, neck, shoulder, or extremities during the past year. Self-assessed difficulty in work–life balance was defined as a work–life conflict (WLC). Adjustments for physical factors, as well as other occupational and socio-demographic variables, were made using multiple logistic regression analysis. Interaction terms including WLCs and key covariates were also incorporated. WLC was significantly associated with increased frequency of MSD in both men (OR: 1.49) and women (OR: 1.50). There were significant interaction effects between WLC and some key covariates (job stress for men and job stress, work hours, physical demand, and frequent overtime work for women). We suggest that having the flexibility to coordinate work and family life is important to prevent MSD among employees.
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