Prevalence of low back pain in employees of a pharmaceutical company.

J. Rotgoltz*, E. Derazne, P. Froom, E. Grushecky, J. Ribak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The association of low back pain (LBP) with mechanical factors at the workplace is uncertain. Most of the studies on this subject did not examine multiple levels of symptoms and did not take into account both the type of work and the primary activity during work. We studied the annual prevalence, severity and duration of attacks of LBP recorded on a physician-administered questionnaire in 208 workers in a pharmaceutical factory. Symptoms were then cross-tabulated with job type, location, work requirements, gender, and years at the factory. LBP was reported by 138 (66.3%) of the workers. Although over 75% of jobs in the packing department, laboratories and offices required prolonged sitting, LBP was most prevalent among workers in the packing department, where the chairs were found to be ergonomically unfit (odds ratio 3.7, 95% confidence interval 1.5-9.1, P = 0.003). Logistic regression demonstrated a highly significant and independent association between LBP and work in the packing or production department (odds ratio 2.03), sitting or lifting (odds ratio 1.97) and 6 years seniority (odds ratio 1.64). Gender was not a significant variable. We conclude that among these pharmaceutical company employees, prolonged sitting and work in the packing or production departments were independently associated with LBP. Prospective studies are warranted to substantiate our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-618
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - 1992


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