Advanced

A shorter workday as a means of reducing the occurence of musculoskeletal disorders

Wergeland, Ebba L; Veiersted, Bo; Ingre, Michael; Olsson, Birgitta LU ; Åkerstedt, Tobjörn; Björnskau, Torkel and Varg, Nils (2003) In Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 29(1). p.27-34
Abstract
Objectives: The study examined the relation between daily workhours and the occurrence of neck-shoulder or back pain in physically demanding care work.



Methods: Unpublished data were obtained from three intervention projects in care institutions. The projects had been conducted independently in Oslo (46 participants, 175 referents before and 158 referents after the intervention), Helsingborg (60 participants, 89 referents) and Stockholm (41 participants, 22 referents) between 1995 and 1998. The intervention was a reduction of daily workhours from ≥7 or more to 6 hours (or 30 hours weekly). Full-time salary was retained, and extra personnel were employed to compensate for the reduction in workhours. Data were collected by... (More)
Objectives: The study examined the relation between daily workhours and the occurrence of neck-shoulder or back pain in physically demanding care work.



Methods: Unpublished data were obtained from three intervention projects in care institutions. The projects had been conducted independently in Oslo (46 participants, 175 referents before and 158 referents after the intervention), Helsingborg (60 participants, 89 referents) and Stockholm (41 participants, 22 referents) between 1995 and 1998. The intervention was a reduction of daily workhours from ≥7 or more to 6 hours (or 30 hours weekly). Full-time salary was retained, and extra personnel were employed to compensate for the reduction in workhours. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires before and during the intervention periods, lasting from 12 to 22 months.



Results: The prevalence of neck-shoulder pain decreased from 40.9% to 25.6% in Oslo and from 57.1% to 39.1% in Helsingborg after 1.5 years with a 6-hour workday; for Stockholm the decrease was from 81.6% to 68.3% after 1 year. No decrease was observed in the reference groups. The prevalence of back pain did not show the same consistent pattern.



Conclusions: The shortening of regular workdays from ≥7 hours to 6 hours may considerably reduce the prevalence of neck-shoulder pain among persons with physically demanding care work. The potential health benefits should encourage intervention studies also in other occupations with increased risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
MSD back musculoskeletal disorder neck pain shoulder woman workday workhours workload worktime
in
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
volume
29
issue
1
pages
27 - 34
publisher
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
external identifiers
  • scopus:0037323923
ISSN
0355-3140
DOI
10.5271/sjweh.701
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
413f64af-bae1-4a30-ab37-771ebfb67dba (old id 2339533)
date added to LUP
2012-02-10 10:16:10
date last changed
2018-10-03 11:29:33
@article{413f64af-bae1-4a30-ab37-771ebfb67dba,
  abstract     = {Objectives: The study examined the relation between daily workhours and the occurrence of neck-shoulder or back pain in physically demanding care work.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Methods: Unpublished data were obtained from three intervention projects in care institutions. The projects had been conducted independently in Oslo (46 participants, 175 referents before and 158 referents after the intervention), Helsingborg (60 participants, 89 referents) and Stockholm (41 participants, 22 referents) between 1995 and 1998. The intervention was a reduction of daily workhours from ≥7 or more to 6 hours (or 30 hours weekly). Full-time salary was retained, and extra personnel were employed to compensate for the reduction in workhours. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires before and during the intervention periods, lasting from 12 to 22 months.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Results: The prevalence of neck-shoulder pain decreased from 40.9% to 25.6% in Oslo and from 57.1% to 39.1% in Helsingborg after 1.5 years with a 6-hour workday; for Stockholm the decrease was from 81.6% to 68.3% after 1 year. No decrease was observed in the reference groups. The prevalence of back pain did not show the same consistent pattern.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Conclusions: The shortening of regular workdays from ≥7 hours to 6 hours may considerably reduce the prevalence of neck-shoulder pain among persons with physically demanding care work. The potential health benefits should encourage intervention studies also in other occupations with increased risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.},
  author       = {Wergeland, Ebba L and Veiersted, Bo and Ingre, Michael and Olsson, Birgitta and Åkerstedt, Tobjörn and Björnskau, Torkel and Varg, Nils},
  issn         = {0355-3140},
  keyword      = {MSD
back
musculoskeletal disorder
neck
pain
shoulder
woman 
workday
workhours
workload
worktime},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {27--34},
  publisher    = {Finnish Institute of Occupational Health},
  series       = {Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health},
  title        = {A shorter workday as a means of reducing the occurence of musculoskeletal disorders},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.701},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2003},
}