Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Terry Stentz

Second Committee Member

Lynette Smith

Third Committee Member

JoEllyn McMillan

Fourth Committee Member

JB Gilleland


Workplace injuries are detrimental because they impact the productivity and wellbeing of workers. The ultimate goal is to minimize job-related injuries due to workplace exposure. This study examines the relationship between body mass index (BMI), age, gender, and injury patterns. Data was collected through a chart review of patients from an occupational medicine health clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan from January 2022 through December 2022.

This was an exploratory study with no population sample control group. Variables investigated were body mass index, gender, age, and type of injury sustained. The injuries were classified by body part into head, back, lower extremity, and upper extremity. Data will be compiled and analyzed and the results will be presented in a series of graphs, charts, and tables.

It was hypothesized that patients with a higher body mass index have more workrelated injuries. Specifically, workers with greater body mass indexes had an increased occurrence of back and lower extremity injuries. Gender and age were also hypothesized to contribute to work-related injuries. It was anticipated that women who were injured have a greater body mass index than injured male workers. Additionally, more injuries occur in the youngest and oldest workers with the more senior workers having a greater body mass index than the younger workers. Specifically, this study determined if the body mass index of injured workers impacted the location and type of injury.

This study determined that injured male and female workers have a higher body mass index than the average adult population in the United States. Injured female workers also had a higher average body mass index than injured male workers. Overall, all workers with back injuries had the greatest body mass index. This was also found among male workers, but not female workers. Female workers with the greatest body mass index most frequently sustained upper extremity injuries. Finally, injured workers were found to be older on average than the average member of the United States workforce.

Available for download on Sunday, June 02, 2024