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Workplace Interventions can Reduce Sickness Absence for Persons With Work-Related Neck and Upper Extremity Disorders
A One-Year Prospective Cohort Study Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate whether workplace interventions are effective in reducing sickness absence in persons with work-related neck and upper extremity disorders and whether disorder improvement after intervention reduces sickness absence. Methods: This study was a prospective cohort study of workers with work-related neck pain or upper extremity disorders. Data were obtained from the Swedish “Work-related disorders” and “Work environment” surveys. Register data on sickness-absence 1 year after the surveys...
Ergonomic interventions for preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb and neck among office workers
Work-related upper limb and neck musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common occupational disorders worldwide. Studies have shown that the percentage of office workers that suffer from MSDs ranges from 20 to 60 per cent. The direct and indirect costs of work-related upper limb MSDs have been reported to be high in Europe, Australia, and the United States. Although ergonomic interventions are likely to reduce the risk of office workers developing work-related upper limb and neck MSDs, the evidence is unclear. This is an update of a Cochrane Review which was last published in 2012...
Bi-directional relation between effort-reward imbalance and risk of neck-shoulder pain
Assessment of mediation through depressive symptoms using occupational longitudinal data Objectives: Bi-directional associations between perceived effort?reward imbalance (ERI) at work and neckshoulder pain have been reported. There is also evidence of associations between ERI and depressive symptoms, and between depressive symptoms and pain while the links between ERI, depressive symptoms and pain have not been tested. We aimed to assess whether depressive symptoms mediate the association between ERI and neck-shoulder pain, as well as the association between neck-shoulder pain and ERI. Methods...
The impact of workplace ergonomics and neck-specific exercise versus ergonomics and health promotion interventions on office worker productivity
A cluster-randomized trial A 12-week workplace combined ergonomics and neck-specific exercise intervention improves sickness presenteeism and monetized health-related productivity loss among a general population of office workers and longer-term sickness absenteeism for those with neck pain, when compared to ergonomics and health promotion education combined. This study provides employers of office workers sought-after evidence of health-related productivity benefit from such workplace interventions. Source: Pereira, M., Comans, T., Sjøgaard, G., Straker, L., Melloh, M., O'Leary, S....
Effects of standing on typing task performance and upper limb discomfort, vascular and muscular indicators
Standing is a popular alternative to traditionally seated computer work. However, no studies have described how standing impacts both upper body muscular and vascular outcomes during a computer typing task. Twenty healthy adults completed two 90-min simulated work sessions, seated or standing. Upper limb discomfort, electromyography (EMG) from eight upper body muscles, typing performance and neck/shoulder and forearm blood flow were collected. Results showed significantly less upper body discomfort and higher typing speed during standing. Lower Trapezius EMG amplitude was higher during standing...
Risk factors for episodic neck pain in workers
A 5-year prospective study of a general working population Purpose: Development of neck pain (NP) in workers has a multifactorial etiology and depends on both individual and workplace factors. The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors for episodic NP in a large diverse sample of active workers. Methods: A prospective study based on the surveillance program implemented by the French Public Health Agency in the Loire Valley region. Between 2002 and 2005, 3710 workers were included. Between 2007 and 2010, 2332 workers responded to a follow-up questionnaire which assessed: (1) musculoskeletal...
Effects of work surface and task difficulty on neck-shoulder posture and trapezius activity during a simulated mouse task
Objectives. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the influence of the work surface and task difficulty on the head, upper back and upper arm postures and activity of the descending trapezius during a simulated mouse task. Methods. Healthy female university students (N = 15) were evaluated. The work surface was positioned at elbow height (EH) and above elbow height (AEH) and the task difficulty was set at low (LD) and high (HD) levels. The postures were recorded by inclinometers. Trapezius activity was normalized by the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). Results. Significantly...
Time course of neck-shoulder pain among workers
A longitudinal latent class growth analysis Objectives: The aims of this study were to (i) identify trajectories of neck-shoulder pain (NSP) over one year in an occupational population and (ii) determine whether these trajectories are predicted by NSP characteristics as well as personal and occupational factors at baseline. Methods: This longitudinal study was conducted among Danish workers (N=748) from 2012–2014. Text messages were used to collect frequent data on NSP over one year (14 waves in total). Peak NSP intensity in the past month was rated on a 0–10 numeric scale. A baseline...
Effects of prolonged microscopic work on neck and back strain amongst male ENT clinicians and the benefits of a prototype postural support chair
Musculoskeletal pain is a common occupational hazard experienced by surgeons. Otologists are predisposed to neck and back pain due to regular prolonged microscopic work. We conducted a prospective pilot study to investigate the effects of sustained microscopic work on the neck and back, its correlation to surgical experience and to assess the benefits of a prototype postural support chair (PSC) amongst 10 male ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinicians. We used a subjective measure of time to fatigue and pain for the neck and back as well as objective readings from a surface electromyogram (sEMG). We...
Integration of active pauses and pattern of muscular activity during computer work
Submaximal isometric muscle contractions have been reported to increase variability of muscle activation during computer work; however, other types of active contractions may be more beneficial. Our objective was to determine which type of active pause vs. rest is more efficient in changing muscle activity pattern during a computer task. Asymptomatic regular computer users performed a standardised 20-min computer task four times, integrating a different type of pause: sub-maximal isometric contraction, dynamic contraction, postural exercise and rest. Surface electromyographic (SEMG) activity was...
Neck posture during lifting and its effect on trunk muscle activation and lumbar spine posture
Neck and head posture have been found to have a significant influence on the posture of the lower spine region during lifting and both an extended/upward gaze and a flexed/downward gaze have been hypothesized to lead to increased pain and/or overuse of the neck musculature. As a result, strength training recommendations have turned to the use of a retracted neck posture as being the safer posture to assume during lifting. This study examined trunk and neck muscle activity and lumbar spine posture in seven participants while performing moderate load lifts using a retracted neck posture (chin drawn...
Psychosocial work stress, leisure time physical exercise and the risk of chronic pain in the neck/shoulders
Longitudinal data from the Norwegian HUNT Study Objectives: To prospectively investigate if the risk of chronic neck/shoulder pain is associated with work stress and job control, and to assess if physical exercise modifies these associations. Material and Methods: The study population comprised 29 496 vocationally active women and men in the Norwegian Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT Study) without chronic pain at baseline in 1984–1986. Chronic neck/shoulder pain was assessed during a follow-up in 1995–1997. A generalized linear model (Poisson regression) was used to calculate...
The biomechanical demands of manual scaling on the shoulders & neck of dental hygienists
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the postural and muscular demands placed on the shoulders and neck of dental hygienists when performing a simulated manual scaling task. Nineteen healthy female dental hygienists performed 30-min of simulated manual scaling on a manikin head in a laboratory setting. Surface electromyography was used to monitor muscle activity from several neck and shoulder muscles, and neck and arm elevation kinematics were evaluated using motion capture. The simulated scaling task resulted in a large range of neck and arm elevation angles and excessive low-level muscular...
Temporal patterns of sitting at work are associated with neck–shoulder pain in blue-collar workers
A cross-sectional analysis of accelerometer data in the DPHACTO study BACKGROUND: Our aim was to examine the extent to which temporal patterns of sitting during occupational work and during leisure-time, assessed using accelerometry, are associated with intense neck-shoulder pain (NSP) in blue-collar workers. METHODS: The population consisted of 659 Danish blue-collar workers. Accelerometers were attached to the thigh, hip, trunk and upper dominant arm to measure sitting time and physical activity across four consecutive days. Temporal sitting patterns were expressed separately for work and leisure...
The Consequence of Combined Pain and Stress on Work Ability in Female Laboratory Technicians
A Cross-Sectional Study Musculoskeletal pain and stress-related disorders are leading causes of impaired work ability, sickness absences and disability pensions. However, knowledge about the combined detrimental effect of pain and stress on work ability is lacking. This study investigates the association between pain in the neck-shoulders, perceived stress, and work ability. In a cross-sectional survey at a large pharmaceutical company in Denmark 473 female laboratory technicians replied to questions about stress (Perceived Stress Scale), musculoskeletal pain intensity (scale 0–10) of the...
Effectiveness of workplace interventions in the prevention of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and symptoms
An update of the evidence The burden of disabling musculoskeletal pain and injuries (musculoskeletal disorders, MSDs) arising from work-related causes in many workplaces remains substantial. There is little consensus on the most appropriate interventions for MSDs. Our objective was to update a systematic review of workplace-based interventions for preventing and managing upper extremity MSD (UEMSD). We followed a systematic review process developed by the Institute for Work & Health and an adapted best evidence synthesis. 6 electronic databases were searched (January 2008 until April 2013 inclusive...
Systematic review of biochemical biomarkers for neck and upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders
Objective: This study systematically summarizes biochemical biomarker research in non-traumatic musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Two research questions guided the review: (i) Are there biochemical markers associated with neck and upper-extremity MSD? and (ii) Are there biochemical markers associated with the severity of neck and upper-extremity MSD? Methods: A literature search was conducted in PubMed and SCOPUS, and 87 studies met primary inclusion criteria. Following a quality screen, data were extracted from 44 articles of sufficient quality. Results: Most of the 87 studies were cross-sectional...
Association between objectively measured sitting time and neck–shoulder pain among blue-collar workers
Objectives: Prolonged sitting has been suggested as a risk factor for neck–shoulder pain (NSP). Using a cross-sectional design, we investigated the extent to which objectively measured time sitting is associated with NSP among blue-collar workers. Methods: Sitting time was measured during multiple working days on male (n = 118) and female (n = 84) blue-collar workers (n = 202) using triaxial accelerometers (Actigraph) placed on the thigh and trunk. Workers were categorized into having, on average, a low, moderate or high sitting time, with mean values (SD between subjects) of 4.9 (1.0), 7...
Gravitational demand on the neck musculature during tablet computer use
Tablet computer use requires substantial head and neck flexion, which is a risk factor for neck pain. The goal of this study was to evaluate the biomechanics of the head–neck system during seated tablet computer use under a variety of conditions. A physiologically relevant variable, gravitational demand (the ratio of gravitational moment due to the weight of the head to maximal muscle moment capacity), was estimated using a musculoskeletal model incorporating subject-specific size and intervertebral postures from radiographs. Gravitational demand in postures adopted during tablet computer...
A Tailored Workplace Exercise Program for Women at Risk for Neck and Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorders
A Randomized Controlled Trial Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate a tailored physical activity protocol performed in a work environment with a group of female workers employed in manual precision tasks to reduce upper limb pain. Methods: Sixty female subjects were randomly assigned to an intervention group or a control group. The IG was administered of a 6-month, twice-a-week, tailored exercise program, whereas the CG received no intervention. Results: The IG showed a reduction on shoulder pain accompanied by increases on the range of motion measures. In addition, reductions in upper...
Association between objectively measured sitting time and neck–shoulder pain among blue-collar workers
OBJECTIVES: Prolonged sitting has been suggested as a risk factor for neck-shoulder pain (NSP). Using a cross-sectional design, we investigated the extent to which objectively measured time sitting is associated with NSP among blue-collar workers. METHODS: Sitting time was measured during multiple working days on male (n = 118) and female (n = 84) blue-collar workers (n = 202) using triaxial accelerometers (Actigraph) placed on the thigh and trunk. Workers were categorized into having, on average, a low, moderate or high sitting time, with mean values (SD between subjects) of 4.9 (1.0), 7.3 (0...
A Tailored Workplace Exercise Program for Women at Risk for Neck and Upper Limb Musculoskeletal Disorders
A Randomized Controlled Trial Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate a tailored physical activity protocol performed in a work environment with a group of female workers employed in manual precision tasks to reduce upper limb pain. Methods: Sixty female subjects were randomly assigned to an intervention group or a control group. The IG was administered of a 6-month, twice-a-week, tailored exercise program, whereas the CG received no intervention. Results: The IG showed a reduction on shoulder pain accompanied by increases on the range of motion measures. In addition, reductions in upper...
Prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal symptoms of the neck and upper extremity among dentists in China
OBJECTIVES: Studies from western countries show that dentists are vulnerable to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) of the neck and upper extremities, but little is known about their epidemiology among members of this rapidly growing profession in China. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of WMSDs and identify potential risk factors associated with their occurrence in the dental profession in China. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in 52 different hospitals in a large metropolitan city in China. A total of 304 questionnaires were distributed...
Arm and Neck Pain in Ultrasonographers
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of upper-body-quadrant pain among ultrasonographers and to evaluate the association between individual ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, and occurrence of neck pain. Method: A hundred and ten (N = 110) Belgian and Dutch male and female hospital ultrasonographers were consecutively enrolled in the study. Data on work-related ergonomic and musculoskeletal disorders were collected with an electronic inquiry, including questions regarding ergonomics (position of the screen, high-low table, and ergonomic chair), symptoms (neck pain...
Best evidence for treating back and neck pain
CBRG QuickDecks are now available from the Cochrane Back Review Group (CBRG), housed at the Institute for Work & Health. These slide decks provide a quick summary of the best evidence for treating back and neck pain by type of intervention, including surgical, pharmacological and non-pharmacological (e.g. massage, chiropractic) interventions. Source: http://www.iwh.on.ca/recent-updates/best-evidence-for-treating-back-and-neck-pain
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