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Physical risk factors for neck pain

Author: Ariëns, G.A.M. · Mechelen, W. van · Bongers, P.M. · Wal, G. van der · Bouter, L.M.
Source:Scandinavian journal of work, environment and health, 1, 26, 7-19
Identifier: 276614
Keywords: Workplace · Lichaamshouding · Lichaamsbeweging · Fysieke arbeidsbelasting · Literatuuronderzoek · Bewegingsstoornissen · Cervical disorders · Critical literature overview · Neck trouble · Physical load · Arm muscle · Body posture · Cohort analysis · Evidence based medicine · Exercise · Extensor muscle · Female · Flexor muscle · Human · Leisure · Male · Medical information · Motor vehicle · Muscle force · Neck muscle · Neck pain · Occupational disease · Occupational hazard · Priority journal · Quality control · Review · Risk factor · Rotation · Sitting · Sport injury · Statistical analysis · Vibration · Work environment · Workload · Workplace · Evidence-Based Medicine · Humans · Neck Pain · Occupational Diseases · Risk Factors


To identify physical risk factors for neck pain, a systematic review of the literature was carried out. Based on methodological quality and study design, 4 levels of evidence were defined to establish the strength of evidence for the relationship between risk factors and neck pain. Altogether, 22 cross-sectional studies, 2 prospective cohort studies, and 1 case-referent study were eligible for determining the level of evidence. The results showed some evidence for a positive relationship between neck pain and the duration of sitting and twisting or bending of the trunk. A sensitivity analysis was carried out excluding 3 items of the quality list, the importance of which seemed doubtful. On the basis of this sensitivity analysis, it was concluded that there is some evidence for a positive relationship between neck pain and the following work-related risk factors: neck flexion, arm force, arm posture, duration of sitting, twisting or bending of the trunk, hand-arm vibration, and workplace design.