Evaluation of an exercise and ergonomics intervention for the prevention of neck pain in office workers: exploratory analysis of a cluster randomised trial

Article


Johnston, Venerina, Jackson, Katherine, Welch, Alyssa, Sjogaard, Gisela, Comans, Tracy Ann, Straker, Leon, Melloh, Melloh, Gane, Elise, Bowe, Steve and O'Leary, Shaun. 2022. "Evaluation of an exercise and ergonomics intervention for the prevention of neck pain in office workers: exploratory analysis of a cluster randomised trial." Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 79 (11), pp. 767-774. https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2022-108275
Article Title

Evaluation of an exercise and ergonomics intervention for the prevention of neck pain in office workers: exploratory analysis of a cluster randomised trial

ERA Journal ID13740
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsJohnston, Venerina, Jackson, Katherine, Welch, Alyssa, Sjogaard, Gisela, Comans, Tracy Ann, Straker, Leon, Melloh, Melloh, Gane, Elise, Bowe, Steve and O'Leary, Shaun
Journal TitleOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Journal Citation79 (11), pp. 767-774
Number of Pages9
YearNov 2022
PublisherBMJ
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1351-0711
1470-7926
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2022-108275
Web Address (URL)https://oem.bmj.com/content/79/11/767
Abstract

Objectives To determine the impact of a 12-week ergonomic/exercise programme compared with an ergonomic/health education programme on the development of neck pain in office workers over 12 months.

Methods This cluster-randomised trial prospectively recruited office workers from public and private organisations. Only non-neck pain cases at baseline were included (n=484). All participants received an ergonomic workstation review then randomly allocated to receive a neck/shoulder progressive exercise programme (20 min, 3 ×/week; intervention group) or health education sessions (60 min, 1 ×/week; active control) for 12 weeks. Generalised estimating equations evaluated group differences in the point prevalence of neck pain cases (defined as those with a neck pain score of ≥3 on a 0 (no pain) to 9 (worst pain) scale) over time (3, 6, 9 and 12 months) with cumulative incidence of neck pain cases evaluated descriptively.

Results While no significant group × time interaction was evident, the 12-month point prevalence of neck pain cases in the intervention group (10%) was half that of the active control group (20%) (adjusted OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.21 to 1.01, p=0.05). Lower cumulative incidence of neck pain cases was observed in the intervention (17%) compared with active control group (30%) over the 12 months.

Conclusions A combined ergonomics and exercise intervention may have more benefits in preventing neck pain cases in office workers than an ergonomic and health education intervention. Group differences were modest and should be interpreted with caution when considering strategies for primary prevention of neck pain in the office worker population.

KeywordsExercise; Longitudinal studies; Musculoskeletal System; Ergonomics
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420106. Physiotherapy
420603. Health promotion
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Curtin University
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
University of Western Australia
Metro South Health, Queensland
Princess Alexandra Hospital, Australia
Deakin University
Department of Health, Queensland
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