Musculoskeletal pain among Midwest farmers and associations with agricultural activities.
Fethke-NB; Merlino-LA; Gerr-F; Schall-MC Jr.; Branch-CA
Am J Ind Med 2015 Mar; 58(3):319-330
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.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Farmers; Demographic-characteristics; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Questionnaires; Extremities; Equipment-design; Animals; Materials-handling; Epidemiology; Ergonomics;
Author Keywords: agriculture; epidemiology; ergonomics; musculoskeletal pain
Nathan B. Fethke, PhD, CPE, College of Public Health, University of Iowa,145 N. Riverside Dr., S347 CPHB, Iowa City, IA 52242
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of Iowa