Musculoskeletal disorders in farmers and farm workers

Walker-Bone, K. and Palmer, K.T. (2002) Musculoskeletal disorders in farmers and farm workers. Occupational Medicine, 52, (8), 441-450. (doi:10.1093/occmed/52.8.441).


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Farming is a physically arduous occupation and this places farm workers at potential risk of musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip and knee, low back pain (LBP), neck and upper limb complaints, and hand–arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). This review considers the epidemiological evidence concerning such risks. The strongest evidence relates to OA of the hip, for which the public health impact is likely to be considerable. There is also weaker, but suggestive evidence that farmers more often have knee OA and LBP than workers in occupations with fewer physical demands. Tractor drivers, in particular, seem to have more LBP. Relatively little information exists on the risks of soft tissue rheumatism in the limbs and neck. For some outcomes, the link with occupational risk factors (such as heavy loading of joints and whole-body vibration) is sufficient to suggest the course that future prevention should take, but for several outcomes more research is first needed.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/occmed/52.8.441
ISSNs: 0962-7480 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: farmers, farm workers, hand–arm vibration syndrome, low back pain, musculoskeletal disorders, osteoarthritis
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Community Clinical Sciences
ePrint ID: 26092
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:48

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