Prevalence of low back pain in greek public office workers

Pain Physician. 2007 Sep;10(5):651-9.


Background: Epidemiological studies have provided information on the prevalence and risk factors of low back pain (LBP) in white collar workers in industrialized countries. Little information has related individual, work ergonomic, and psychosocial factors to the incidence of LBP in low income countries.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of LBP among Greek public office workers. To identify and relate the individual, work ergonomic, and psychosocial factors to the occurrence of LBP.

Design: Cross-sectional study of Greek office workers in the public sector.

Methods: A self-reported standardized questionnaire was constructed to record risk factors associated with the occurrence of LBP. Personal characteristics, work ergonomics, and psychosocial traits were collected and related to LBP prevalence.

Results: Of the 771 office workers, 648 responded (84% return rate). The majority of the participants were women (75.8%). Among all responders, 33%, 37.8%, 41.8%, and 61.6% presented with point, one-year, two-year, and lifetime prevalence respectively. Sleep disturbances due to pain were reported in 37% of the office clerks with chronic low back pain. Multiple logistic regression models have revealed that significant determinants for predicting LBP occurrence are age, gender, body mass index, body distance from computer screen, adjustable back support, clerk body position while sitting, sitting time of greater than 6 hours, job satisfaction, repetitive work, and anger during last 30 days.

Conclusion: High proportions of Greek office workers suffer from LBP which might affect the Greek economy. The incidence of LBP status is significantly associated with some anthropometric, ergonomic, and psychosocial factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Low Back Pain / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Public Sector
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires