The impact of physical work exposure on musculoskeletal symptoms among farmersand rural non-farmers.
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Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology Section, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
The Swedish Farmers Safety and Preventive Health Association, Stockholm, Sweden
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2003;10(2):179–184
In order to evaluate the impact of physical work exposure on differencesin musculoskeletal symptom reported among Swedish farmers and referents, a cross-sectional, population-basedcohort study was performed. Male farmers (N = 1221) and matched non-farmers (N = 1130) were invited totake part a survey in which 76 % participated. The analyses were based on 657 matched pairs. Lifetimeincidence of musculoskeletal symptoms, information on work exposure, physical workload and leisure timephysical activity were assessed by questionnaire and structured interview. Physical work capacity andmuscle strength were measured. Farmers reported more low back and hip problems than the referents. Afteradjustment for the influence of work exposure factors, farmers still had a significant excess rate oflow back and hip symptoms compared to the referents, and a significantly lower rate of neck and shoulderproblems. In conclusion, work exposure explained some but not all of the farmer-referent differencesin musculoskeletal symptom rates.