Studies on 574 subjects demonstrated the prevalence of shoulder pain and its relationship to occupational work load and psychosocial factors. The prevalence of shoulder pain was 14% (13% men, 15% women). Women had more often myalgias with a tenderness on palpation of the shoulder muscles and rhizopathia-brachialgia type of pain, whereas men had mainly intraarticular pain. Three percent had been on sick leave because of shoulder pain in the year preceding the examination and 5% had a reduced range of shoulder joint motion. The subjects with shoulder pain were less satisfied with their jobs and had been less successful in a childhood intelligence test. No difference could be demonstrated between subjects with or without shoulder pain in estimated overall work load, but women with signs of supraspinatus tendinitis more often had jobs with physical demands.