Validity of a self-administered questionnaire for assessing physical work loads in a general population

J Occup Environ Med. 2002 Aug;44(8):724-35. doi: 10.1097/00043764-200208000-00007.


The aim of the study was to evaluate eight questions concerning physical loads, used in public health questionnaires. Working women and men (203) completed a self-administered questionnaire twice, following a test-retest method. The questions were also validated with a structured interview. Response agreement was calculated with Cohen's kappa statistics with quadratic weights (kappa w). Test-retest agreement varied from 0.74 to 0.92, and inter-method agreement from 0.38 to 0.81. The lowest coefficients were for the questions concerning bent/twisted work postures (kappa w 0.38) and repetitive movements (kappa w 0.39). The results did not indicate any substantial influence of gender, type of work or musculoskeletal complaint. The questions concerning general physical activity and sitting work postures, and physical exercise/sports during leisure times, had good validity. The questions concerning bent/twisted work posture and repetitive movements need to be re-designed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Odds Ratio
  • Posture
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Sweden
  • Time Factors
  • Work / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workplace