Protocol for work place adjusted intelligent physical exercise reducing musculoskeletal pain in shoulder and neck (VIMS): a cluster randomized controlled trial

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 Aug 5:11:173. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-11-173.


Background: Neck and shoulder complaints are common among employees in sedentary occupations characterized by intensive computer use. Specific strength training is a promising type of physical exercise for relieving neck and shoulder pain in office workers. However, the optimal combination of frequency and exercise duration, as well as the importance of exercise supervision, is unknown. The VIMS study investigates in a cluster randomized controlled design the effectiveness of different time wise combinations of specific strength training with identical accumulated volume, and the relevance of training supervision for safe and effective training.

Methods/design: A cluster randomized controlled trial of 20 weeks duration where employed office workers are randomized to 1 x 60 min, 3 x 20 min, 9 x 7 min per week of specific strength training with training supervision, to 3 x 20 min per week of specific strength training with a minimal amount of training supervision, or to a reference group without training. A questionnaire will be sent to 2000 employees in jobs characterized by intensive computer work. Employees with cardiovascular disease, trauma, hypertension, or serious chronic disease will be excluded. The main outcome measure is pain in the neck and shoulders at week 20.

Trial registration: The trial is registered at, number NCT01027390.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology
  • Neck Pain / prevention & control
  • Neck Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Shoulder Pain / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Pain / prevention & control
  • Shoulder Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Teaching / methods
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Workplace

Associated data