Musculoskeletal symptoms among farmers and non-farmers: a population-based study

Int J Occup Environ Health. Oct-Dec 2002;8(4):339-45. doi: 10.1179/107735202800338623.


Farming has been considered a high-risk occupation for musculoskeletal disorders. However, documentation of the increased risk is weak except for hip osteoarthritis. 1,013 full-time farmers in nine Swedish municipalities and 769 non-farmers (referents), matched for age, sex, and residential area, participated in the study. Information about medical history, consultations, and sick leave for musculoskeletal disorders was obtained by questionnaire and interview. The farmers reported significantly more symptoms affecting the hands and forearms, low back, and hips than did the non-farmers, and a non-significant trend in the same direction was found for symptoms from the neck, shoulders, and knees. However, the farmers did not seek medical advice more often than the referents, and they reported significantly less sick leave for these problems. Thus, farmers appear to have more musculoskeletal symptoms than do non-farmers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / classification
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / classification
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Occupational Diseases / classification
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Sweden / epidemiology