A longitudinal study of low back pain and daily vibration exposure in professional drivers

Ind Health. 2010;48(5):584-95. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.mswbvi-02.


The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between low back pain (LBP) outcomes and measures of daily exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) in professional drivers. In a study population of 202 male drivers, who were not affected with LBP at the initial survey, LBP in terms of duration, intensity, and disability was investigated over a two-year follow-up period. Vibration measurements were made on representative samples of machines and vehicles. The following measures of daily WBV exposure were obtained: (i) 8-h energy-equivalent frequency-weighted acceleration (highest axis), A(8)(max) in ms(-2) r.m.s.; (ii) A(8)(sum) (root-sum-of-squares) in ms(-2) r.m.s.; (iii) Vibration Dose Value (highest axis), VDV(max) in ms(-1.75); (iv) VDV(sum) (root-sum-of-quads) in ms(-1.75). The cumulative incidence of LBP over the follow-up period was 38.6%. The incidence of high pain intensity and severe disability was 16.8 and 14.4%, respectively. After adjustment for several confounders, VDV(max) or VDV(sum) gave better predictions of LBP outcomes over time than A(8)(max) or A(8)(sum), respectively. Poor predictions were obtained with A(8)(max), which is the currently preferred measure of daily WBV exposure in European countries. In multivariate data analysis, physical work load was a significant predictor of LBP outcomes over the follow-up period. Perceived psychosocial work environment was not associated with LBP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Low Back Pain / etiology*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pain Measurement
  • Psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Vibration / adverse effects*