Effects on musculoskeletal pain from “Take a Stand!” – a cluster-randomized controlled trial reducing sitting time among office workers
Objectives Prolonged sitting at work has been found to increase risk for musculoskeletal pain. The office-based intervention "Take a Stand!" was effective in reducing sitting time at work. We aimed to study the effect of the intervention on a secondary outcome: musculoskeletal pain.
Methods Take a Stand! included 19 offices (317 workers) at four workplaces cluster randomized to intervention or control. The multicomponent intervention lasted three months and included management support, environmental changes, and local adaptation. Control participants behaved as usual. Musculoskeletal pain was measured by self-report questionnaire assessing pain in neck-shoulders, back and extremities in three categories at baseline, and one and three months follow-up.
Results At one month, there was no difference in odds ratio (OR) for pain in neck-shoulders between the two groups. However, after three months, the OR was 0.52 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.30–0.92] for pain in neck-shoulders in the intervention compared to the control group. No differences were found between the intervention and control group for pain in back and extremities over the three months. For total pain score a slight reduction was found in the intervention compared to the control group at one and three months [-0.13 (95% CI -0.23– -0.03) and -0.17 (95% CI -0.32– -0.01)].
Conclusions The secondary analyses showed that the office-based intervention Take a Stand! reduced neck-shoulder pain after three months and total pain score after one and three months among office workers, but not neck-shoulder pain after one month or pain in the back and extremities.
Key terms cluster-randomized controlled trial; intervention; low-back pain; musculoskeletal disorder; musculoskeletal pain; neck; occupational sitting; office worker; pain; randomized controlled trial; sedentary behavior; shoulder; sitting; sitting time; workplace