The impact of workplace risk factors on the occurrence of neck and upper limb pain: a general population study

Sim, Julius; Lacey, Rosie J.; Lewis, Martyn
January 2006
BMC Public Health;2006, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p234
Academic Journal
Background: Work-related neck and upper limb pain has mainly been studied in specific occupational groups, and little is known about its impact in the general population. The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence and population impact of work-related neck and upper limb pain. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 10 000 adults in North Staffordshire, UK, in which there is a common local manual industry. The primary outcome measure was presence or absence of neck and upper limb pain. Participants were asked to give details of up to five recent jobs, and to report exposure to six work activities involving the neck or upper limbs. Psychosocial measures included job control, demand and support. Odds ratios (ORs) and population attributable fractions were calculated for these risk factors. Results: The age-standardized one-month period prevalence of neck and upper limb pain was 44%. There were significant independent associations between neck and upper limb pain and: repeated lifting of heavy objects (OR = 1.4); prolonged bending of neck (OR = 2.0); working with arms at/above shoulder height (OR = 1.3); little job control (OR = 1.6); and little supervisor support (OR = 1.3). The population attributable fractions were 0.24 (24%) for exposure to work activities and 0.12 (12%) for exposure to psychosocial factors. Conclusion: Neck and upper limb pain is associated with both physical and psychosocial factors in the work environment. Inferences of cause-and-effect from cross-sectional studies must be made with caution; nonetheless, our findings suggest that modification of the work environment might prevent up to one in three of cases of neck and upper limb pain in the general population, depending on current exposures to occupational risk.


Related Articles

  • Occupational factors associated with low back pain in urban taxi drivers. Jiu-Chiuan Chen; Wen-Ruey Chang; Wushou Chang; Christiani, David // Occupational Medicine;Oct2005, Vol. 55 Issue 7, p535 

    Background Urban taxi drivers differ from other professional drivers in their exposures to physical and psychosocial hazards in the work environment. Epidemiological data on low back pain (LBP) of this occupational group are very scarce.Aims To examine LBP in taxi drivers and its association...

  • Organisational justice and change in justice as predictors of employee health: the Whitehall II study. Kivimäki, Mika; Ferrie, Jane E.; Head, Jenny; Shipley, Martin J.; Vahtera, Jussi; Marmot, Michael G. // Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health;Nov2004, Vol. 58 Issue 11, p931 

    Objective: Organisational justice has been proposed as a new way to examine the impact of psychosocial work environment on employee health. This article studied the justice of interpersonal treatment by supervisors (the relational component of organisational justice) as a predictor of health....

  • The association between psychosocial work environment, attitudes towards older workers (ageism) and planned retirement. Thorsen, Sannie; Rugulies, Reiner; Løngaard, Katja; Borg, Vilhelm; Thielen, Karsten; Bjorner, Jakob // International Archives of Occupational & Environmental Health;May2012, Vol. 85 Issue 4, p437 

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the association between psychosocial factors (in particular ageism) at the workplace and older workers' retirement plans, while taking health and workability of the employee into account. Methods: In the fall and winter of 2008, self-report data on...

  • The influence of work-related exposures on the prognosis of neck/shoulder pain. Grooten, Wilhelmus Johannes Andreas; Mulder, Marie; Josephson, Malin; Alfredsson, Lars; Wiktorin, Christina // European Spine Journal;Dec2007, Vol. 16 Issue 12, p2083 

    To determine associations between work-related exposures and the prognosis of self-reported neck/shoulder pain. This prospective cohort study was based on 803 working subjects who reported neck/shoulder pain at baseline. The proportion of subjects who 5–6 years later were symptom-free was...

  • Working conditions are risk factors for long-term sickness.  // Nursing Standard;5/17/2006, Vol. 20 Issue 36, p21 

    The article focuses on a prospective cohort study conducted by a group of researchers from Denmark that identified certain working conditions as risk factors for long-term sickness. It investigated on whether there is a significant relationship between physical and psychosocial factors in employees.

  • Chapter 10: Working life, work environment and health. Stenbeck, Magnus; Persson, Gudrun // Scandinavian Journal of Public Health;Jun2006 Supplement 67, Vol. 34 Issue s67, p229 

    The article discusses trends in working life, work environment and self-reported problems at work in Sweden. Many classical work-related diseases have become less common. The use of computers is increasing at the workplace. The psychosocial work environment has started to improve following its...

  • Republished paper: Assuring validity of multisource feedback in a national programme. Julian Archer // Postgraduate Medical Journal;Sep2010, Vol. 86 Issue 1019, p526 

    OBJECTIVE: To report the evidence for and challenges to the validity of Sheffield Peer Review Assessment Tool (SPRAT) with paediatric Specialist Registrars (SpRs) across the UK as part of Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health workplace based assessment programme. DESIGN: Quality...

  • Burdensome Regulations or Good Business Sense? Oldfield, Kate // Manager: British Journal of Administrative Management;Feb/Mar2007, Issue 57, p18 

    In this article the author discusses the complex laws governing health and safety in the workplace in Great Britain. She notes the significant number of work days lost to employee accidents or illnesses that came as a result of work. She explains provisions of the major British law governing...

  • World at work: charcoal producing industries in northeastern Brazil. Kato, M.; DeMarini, D. M.; Carvalho, A. B.; Rego, M. A. V.; Andrade, A. V.; Bomfim, A. S. V.; Loomis, D.; Bonfim, A S V // Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Feb2005, Vol. 62 Issue 2, p128 

    Discusses the charcoal production process and the work environment in charcoal based industries in Brazil. Tasks of the job; Hazards of the job and in the workplace; Measures to protect workers.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics