Effectiveness of workplace exercise interventions in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders in office workers: a protocol of a systematic review

BMJ Open. 2020 Dec 22;10(12):e038854. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038854.


Introduction: Physical inactivity due to changes in our society towards more sedentary behaviours is leading to health problems. Increasing physical activity might be a good strategy to improve physical strength and reduce the prevalence of illnesses associated with prolonged sitting. Office workers exhibit a sedentary lifestyle with short rest periods or even without pauses during the workday. It is important to perform workplace interventions to treat musculoskeletal disorders caused by prolonged sitting and lack of movement adopted on the office setting. This article describes a protocol for a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of exercise interventions on office workers in their work environment.

Methods and analysis: A literature search will be performed in the PubMed, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane Library, Scopus, ISI WoS and PeDRO databases for randomised controlled trials and studies published from 1 January 2010 to 31 July 2020 in English or Spanish. The participants will be office workers who spend most of their work time in a sitting position. The interventions performed will include any type of exercise intervention in the workplace. The outcome measures will vary in accordance with the aim of the intervention observed. The results of the review and the outcomes from the studies reviewed will be summarised with a narrative synthesis. The review protocol was developed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols guidelines.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval is not required. The review outcomes and the additional data obtained will be disseminated through publications and in scientific conferences.

Prospero registration number: CRD42020177462.

Keywords: medical education & training; occupational & industrial medicine; pain management.