A longitudinal study on risk factors for neck and shoulder pain among young adults in the transition from technical school to working life

T.N. Hanvold, M. Warsted, A.M. Mengshoel, E. Bjertness, J.W.R. Twisk, K.B. Veiersted

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives The study examined the course of neck and shoulder pain among a cohort of technical school students entering working life. We also aimed to identify work-related and individual risk factors for neck and shoulder pain during this transition period. Methods The study was designed as a prospective cohort study following 420 technical school students (167 student hairdressers, 118 student electricians, and 135 media/design students) from school, through their apprenticeship and into working life. Every 4thmonth over a 6.5 year period (2002-2009), the participant`s neck and shoulder pain for the preceding four weeks was assessed. Mechanical and psychosocial workplace factors as well as individual factors were evaluated at baseline and/or during the follow-up period. Data were analyzed by generalized estimating equations (GEE). Results We found a significant increase in neck and shoulder pain over time in the transition from technical school to working life. High mechanical workload was associated with neck and shoulder pain among women, while a high level of shoulder muscle endurance capacity was associated with lower rates of neck and shoulder pain among men. Perceived muscle tension and ethnicity were the most consistent predictors for neck and shoulder pain, found among both women and men. Conclusion Increased neck and shoulder pain was found in the transition from technical school to working life, and both work-related and individual factors were associated with pain development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-609
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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