Self-reported back pain in fork-lift truck and freight-container tractor drivers exposed to whole-body vibration

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1992 Jan;17(1):59-65. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199201000-00010.


To study the long-term health effect of whole-body vibration, a questionnaire on symptoms of ill health was mailed to 242 drivers and a reference group of 210 workers from six harbor companies (response 81%). Vehicles driven were fork-lift trucks and freight-container tractors. Vibration level during a representative working period (vector sum of the frequency weighted acceleration in the x-, y-, and z-directions) was 0.8 m/sec2 for the fork-lift trucks and 1.0 m/sec2 for the freight-container tractors. Only the results concerning self-reported symptoms of the back are described. Of the young (less than 35 years), short-term-exposed drivers, 68% reported that they had back pain regularly vs. only 25% of the reference group of comparable age. With increasing age, the difference in the prevalence of self-reported regular back pain between the drivers and the reference group disappeared. Driving during the 5 years preceding the onset of symptoms seemed to increase the risk of back pain, whereas earlier exposure did not.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Back Pain / etiology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Occupations
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Vibration / adverse effects*