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Am J Ind Med. 2015 Mar;58(3):319-30. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22398. Epub 2014 Oct 23.

Musculoskeletal pain among Midwest farmers and associations with agricultural activities.

Author information

1
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although agricultural workers experience a high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, associations between specific agricultural activities and musculoskeletal pain are not well characterized.

METHODS:

Among 518 regional farmers, responses to a mailed questionnaire were used to estimate (i) the 2-week prevalence of low back, neck/shoulder, and elbow/wrist/hand pain, and (ii) associations between the average hours per week performing common agricultural activities and musculoskeletal pain.

RESULTS:

The low back was the most common location of musculoskeletal pain (33.2%), followed by the neck/shoulder (30.8%) and elbow/wrist/hand (21.6%). Statistically significant adjusted associations were observed between performing equipment repair and maintenance and low back pain; milking animals and neck/shoulder pain; and manual material handling and elbow/wrist/hand pain, among others.

CONCLUSIONS:

The observed prevalence estimates are consistent with previous literature, and the associations between agricultural activities and musculoskeletal pain provide an initial basis for targeted intervention research.

KEYWORDS:

agriculture; epidemiology; ergonomics; musculoskeletal pain

PMID:
25345841
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.22398
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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