Studying the relationship between low back pain and working postures among those who stand and those who sit most of the working day

Ergonomics. 2009 Nov;52(11):1402-18. doi: 10.1080/00140130903141204.


A relationship between low back pain (LBP) and prolonged standing or prolonged sitting at work has not been clearly shown, despite its biological plausibility. Because sitting and standing postures vary as to duration and freedom to alternate postures, and standing postures vary as to mobility, associations between specific working postures and LBP were explored using multiple logistic regression. Associations between work factors and self-reported LBP during the previous 12 months that interfered with usual activities were examined among 4493 standing workers and 3237 sitting workers interviewed in the 1998 Quebec Health and Social Survey; 24.5% reported significant LBP. Since the same conditions can correspond to different physiological demands for sitting compared with standing workers, analyses were performed separately for the two groups. Standing without freedom to sit was associated with LBP. Different occupational physical and psychosocial factors were associated with LBP in sitting compared with standing populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Low Back Pain / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Young Adult