Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Office initiative reduces headaches and neck and shoulder pain by more than 40 per cent

14.05.2008
Office staff who took part in an eight-month workplace initiative reported that headaches and neck and shoulder pain fell by more than 40 per cent and their use of painkillers halved, according to research published in the May issue of Cephalalgia.

They also reported that pain levels were less severe at the end of the study than at the start.

Italian researchers compared 169 staff in Turin’s registry and tax offices with 175 colleagues who hadn’t taken part in the educational and physical programme. Using daily diaries completed by both groups, they compared the baseline results for months one and two of the study with months seven and eight to see if there had been any changes. The study group started following the programme in month three.

They found that:

• At the start of the study, staff in both groups reported an average of six headache days a month and seven and a half days when they were affected by neck and shoulder pain. They needed to take analgesic drugs two days a month.

• By the end of the trial, staff in the study group reported that they suffered from 41 per cent fewer headaches, with staff in the control group reporting a negligible rise of 0.02 per cent.

• Study group staff also reported 43 per cent less neck and shoulder pain, compared with staff in the control group who reported a five per cent reduction.

• When it came to medication, the study group reported a 51 per cent reduction in analgesic use and the control group reported a fall of 15 per cent.

• Subjects with anxiety or depression showed a better than average response when compared with the rest of the study group.

The researchers were also keen to see whether the workplace initiative also reduced the ‘global burden’ of the employee’s headaches and neck and shoulder pain, which is calculated by multiplying intensity by frequency. They found that:

• Employees in the study group reported a 41 per cent reduction in headache burden, compared with a two per cent fall for the control group.

• The burden of neck and shoulder pain was 54 per cent lower in the study group by the end of the study, with the control group recording a reduction of four per cent.

“Staff in the study group were asked to carry out a series of relaxation and posture exercises every two to three hours and provided with red labels to place around their work area to remind them to avoid excessive contraction of their head and shoulder muscles” explains lead author Professor Franco Mongini from the Headache and Facial Pain Unit at the University of Turin, Italy.

“The exercises also included two daily periods of ten to 15 minutes when staff relaxed quietly at home in a comfortable armchair with warming pads placed on their cheeks and shoulders.”

The programme was designed by the lead author and was explained using a short film, followed by a practical demonstration and training.

Staff were also provided with information sheets on the exercises and the clinician leading the study revisited the workplace in months four and six to remind staff of the procedures.

The study and control groups were based in separate offices to avoid cross contamination of the results. 90 per cent of the 384 employees who agreed to take part completed the study. Most were female (80 per cent), with an average age of 46.

“Headache and neck and shoulder pain are both a clinical challenge and a major health problem” stresses Professor Mongini, whose research was primarily funded by the Compagnia di San Paolo in Turin, with additional funding from Region Piemonte.

“Last year Cephalalgia published a study by Stovner et al that suggested that the worldwide prevalence of headache was as high as 46 per cent in adults, with 11 per cent suffering from migraine, 42 per cent from tension headaches and three per cent from chronic daily headaches.

“Our study clearly shows that workplace interventions can reduce headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

“The methods adopted were relatively simple and the positive response from the employees, including the low study drop-out rate, suggest that it would prove popular in other workplaces.

“We also believe that employers would support this low-cost initiative as it would improve productivity in the workplace.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/CHA

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>