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Can a metric combining arm elevation and trapezius muscle activity predict neck/shoulder pain? A prospective cohort study in construction and healthcare

Vit. artikkel


  • 2020


Fysisk arbeidsmiljø

Objective To determine whether a composite metric of arm elevation and trapezius activity (i.e. neck/shoulder load) is more strongly associated with the 2-year course of neck and shoulder pain intensity (NSPi) among construction and healthcare workers than each exposure separately. Methods Dominant arm elevation and upper trapezius muscle activity were estimated in construction and healthcare employees (n = 118) at baseline, using accelerometry and normalized surface electromyography (%MVE), respectively. At baseline and every 6 months for 2 years, workers reported NSPi (score 0–3). Compositions of working time were determined for arm elevation (< 30°; 30–60°;  > 60°), trapezius activity (< 0.5%; 0.5–7.0%; > 7.0%MVE), and a composite metric “neck/shoulder load” (restitution, low, medium, and high load). Associations between each of these three compositions and the 2-year course of NSPi were determined using linear mixed models. Results Associations between exposure compositions and the course of NSPi were all weak and in general uncertain. Time spent in 0.5–7.0%MVE showed the largest and most certain association with changes in NSPi during follow-up (β = − 0.13; p = 0.037; corresponding to a −0.01 change in NPSi every 6 months). Among pain-free workers at baseline, medium (β = − 0.23; p = 0.039) and high (β = 0.15; p = 0.031) neck/shoulder load contributed the most to explaining changes in NSPi. Conclusion The composite metric...

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
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