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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1975; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091975

Evaluating Short-Term Musculoskeletal Pain Changes in Desk-Based Workers Receiving a Workplace Sitting-Reduction Intervention

1
School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia
2
RECOVER Injury Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia
3
Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
4
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
5
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
6
School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6102, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Sedentary Behaviour)
Full-Text   |   PDF [311 KB, uploaded 10 September 2018]

Abstract

This paper explores changes in musculoskeletal pain among desk-based workers over three months of a workplace-delivered, sitting-reduction intervention. Participants (n = 153, 46% female; mean ± SD aged 38.9 ± 8.0 years) were cluster-randomized (n = 18 work teams) to receive an organizational change intervention, with or without an activity tracker. A modified Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire assessed pain intensity (0–9; none–worst possible) in the neck, upper and lower back, upper and lower extremities, and in total. The activPAL3 (7 days, 24 h/day protocol) measured sitting and prolonged sitting in ≥30 min bouts at work. Mixed models adjusting for cluster and intervention arm examined changes in pain (n = 104), and their associations with reductions in sitting and prolonged sitting (h/10 h at work) (n = 90). Changes in pain were nonsignificant (p ≥ 0.05) and small for total pain (−0.06 [95% CI: −0.27, 0.16]) and for each body area (−0.26 [−0.66, 0.15] for upper back to 0.09 [−0.39, 0.56] for lower back). Sitting reduction was associated with reduced lower back pain (−0.84 [−1.44, −0.25] per hour, p = 0.005); other effects were small and non-significant. No substantial average changes in pain were seen; some improvement in lower back pain might be expected with larger sitting reductions. Larger samples and diverse interventions are required for more definitive evidence. View Full-Text
Keywords: office workers; workplace; sitting; sedentary behaviour; musculoskeletal discomfort; musculoskeletal pain; low back pain; trial; activity monitor office workers; workplace; sitting; sedentary behaviour; musculoskeletal discomfort; musculoskeletal pain; low back pain; trial; activity monitor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Brakenridge, C.L.; Chong, Y.Y.; Winkler, E.A.; Hadgraft, N.T.; Fjeldsoe, B.S.; Johnston, V.; Straker, L.M.; Healy, G.N.; Clark, B.K. Evaluating Short-Term Musculoskeletal Pain Changes in Desk-Based Workers Receiving a Workplace Sitting-Reduction Intervention. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1975.

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