Self-reported symptoms in the neck and upper limbs of female assembly workers. Impact of length of employment, work pace, and selection

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1989 Feb;15(1):75-80. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.1879.


In a questionnaire study 148 women in assembly work reported statistically significantly higher rates of pain, in the last 7 d, in their shoulders (odds ratio 3.4) and hands (odds ratio 2.8) as compared to 60 referents age-adjusted. There was a strong association between duration of employment and complaints in the hands. For the younger women, but not the older ones, there was an increase in pain in the shoulders, neck, and upper back with duration of employment. The odds ratio for pain in the shoulders and neck increased with an increasing work pace, except for very high paces, for which there was a decrease. Among 76 former assembly workers 26% reported pain as the cause of having left this work. There was no overall increase in the frequency of complaints among those who had left.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Diseases / epidemiology
  • Bone Diseases / etiology*
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology*
  • Neck
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Shoulder
  • Sweden
  • Time Factors