The impact of physical work exposure on musculoskeletal symptoms among farmersand rural non-farmers.
Kurt Svardsudd 1, Eva Stiernstrom 1, Anders Thelin 1, Sara Holmberg 2 1 - 2 - Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and ClinicalEpidemiology Section, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org Ann Agric Environ Med 2003; 10 (2): ICID: 142712
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.