Occupational sitting behaviour and its relationship with back pain - A pilot study

Appl Ergon. 2016 Sep;56:84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2016.03.007. Epub 2016 Apr 6.


Nowadays, working in an office environment is ubiquitous. At the same time, progressively more people suffer from occupational musculoskeletal disorders. Therefore, the aim of this pilot study was to analyse the influence of back pain on sitting behaviour in the office environment. A textile pressure mat (64-sensor-matrix) placed on the seat pan was used to identify the adopted sitting positions of 20 office workers by means of random forest classification. Additionally, two standardised questionnaires (Korff, BPI) were used to assess short and long-term back pain in order to divide the subjects into two groups (with and without back pain). Independent t-test indicated that subjects who registered back pain within the last 24 h showed a clear trend towards a more static sitting behaviour. Therefore, the developed sensor system has successfully been introduced to characterise and compare sitting behaviour of subjects with and without back pain.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorders; Office chair; Pressure distribution.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Back Pain / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Occupational Health
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pilot Projects
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires