OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WMS) among Korean dairy farmers has not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of WMS and to evaluate the relationship between WMS and risk factors. METHODS: Self-developed questionnaires including the questionnaire developed by the Korean Occupational Safety and Health agency (KOSHA) were used to investigate WMS among dairy farmers in Gyeonggi Province, Korea. We informed selected dairy farmers about the study and sent the questionnaires by registered mail. They visited a public health center nearby or a branch of public health center on the appointed date and skillful researchers identified or conducted the questionnaires by interview. We analyzed 598 (32.8%) of the 1824 dairy farmers. Multiple logistic regression was implemented to estimate the odds ratios of risk factors. RESULTS: The mean age of the respondents was 50.4 +/- 8.7 years and the proportion of males was 63.0%. The prevalence of WMS at any site was 33.3%. The prevalence of neck WMS was 2.2%, shoulders 10.0%, arms/elbows 5.0%, hands/wrists/fingers 4.2%, low back 11.5%, and legs/feet 11.7%. The adjusted odds ratio of low back WMS for milking 4 or more hours per day was 4.231 (95% CI = 1.124 - 15.932) and statistically significant. Low back WMS (2.827, 95% CI = 1.545 - 5.174) was significantly decreased by education. CONCLUSIONS: Low back WMS increased with milking hours and milking 4 or more hours per day was significantly associated with low back WMS. Low back WMS was significantly reduced with education. We hope that there will be increased attention about WMS in dairy farmers and the subject of future investigations.