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High physical and psychological load at work and sickness absence due to neck pain

Author: Ariëns, G.A.M. · Bongers, P.M. · Hoogendoorn, W.E. · Wal, G. van der · Mechelen, W. van
Type:article
Date:2002
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 4, 28, 222-231
Identifier: 236625
Keywords: Health · Cervical spine · Longitudinal · Prospective cohort study · Risk factors · Sick leave · Work-related · Occupational exposure · Absenteeism · Adult · Cohort analysis · Controlled study · Decision making · Female · Follow up · Frequency analysis · Major clinical study · Male · Manual labor · Neck pain · Prospective study · Quantitative analysis · Questionnaire · Risk assessment · Risk factor · Sitting · Statistical significance · Teamwork · Videorecording · Worker · Epidemiology · Job satisfaction · Medical leave · Mental stress · Psychological aspect · Confounding Factors (Epidemiology) · Humans · Job Satisfaction · Neck Pain · Netherlands · Occupational Diseases · Questionnaires · Risk Factors · Stress, Psychological · Workload

Abstract

Objectives This study investigates the relationship between physical and psychosocial load at work and sickness absence due to neck pain. Methods A prospective cohort study with a follow-up period of 3 years (1994-1998) was performed among a working population. At the beginning of the study, physical load at work was quantified by means of video recordings. Work-related psychosocial variables were measured by means of the Job Content Questionnaire. The frequency of sickness absence due to neck pain with a minimal duration of 3 days was assessed on the basis of company registrations during the follow-up period. Altogether 758 workers were included in the analyses. Possible confounding by individual characteristics, physical load, and psychosocial load was studied. Results Work-related neck flexion and neck rotation, low decision authority, and medium skill discretion showed statistically significant increased risks for sickness absence due to neck pain (adjusted rate ratios ranging from 1.6 to 4.2). High quantitative job demands, low skill discretion, and low job security showed nonsignificant increased risks for sickness absence due to neck pain (adjusted rate ratios of 2.0, 1.6 and 1.7, respectively). Work-related sitting, conflicting job demands, supervisor support, and co-worker support did not increase sickness absence due to neck pain. Conclusions Work-related neck flexion, neck rotation, low decision authority, and medium skill discretion are risk factors for sickness absence due to neck pain. There are indications that high job demands, low skill discretion, and low job security are also risk factors for sickness absence due to neck pain. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.