Effects of physical activity programmes in the workplace (PAPW) on the perception and intensity of musculoskeletal pain experienced by garment workers

Work. 2013;44(4):415-21. doi: 10.3233/WOR-131517.


Objective: The physical activity programmes in the workplace (PAPW) are applied to minimize the prevalence, incidence and intensity of pain. This study evaluated the perception of pain and quantifies its intensity among garment workers before and after performing a PAPW.

Participants: We included 61 workers of a clothing company, who were classified randomly into experimental group (n = 44) 28.7 ± 8.8 years old and a control group (n = 17) 27.8 ± 7.4 years (20-43 years).

Methods: The Trigger Points test questionnaire was used to assess pain perception and quantify its intensity. The PAPW was conducted in 15-minute sessions per day, consisting of stretching exercises (40%), muscular endurance (40%), self-massage relaxation and massage techniques (10%), and group dynamics (10%).

Results: The garment workers who participated in the PAPW showed a significant reduction of pain felt in the neck and wrists, and also a reduction in pain intensity in shoulders, arms, fingers and wrists that are most often strained during sewing.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that PAPW that target muscle groups that are more tense in sewing tasks, may be considered by companies for supporting adaptation to the work environment and improving health by reducing muscle and joint pain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Perception
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Textile Industry*
  • Time Factors
  • Trigger Points / physiology
  • Workforce
  • Workplace
  • Young Adult