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TitleThe effects of workplace physical activity programs on musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Author(s)Silva, Isabel Moreira
Teixeira, Pedro Miguel Silva Costa Afonso
Santos, Rute
Abreu, Sandra
Moreira, Carla
Mota, Jorge
KeywordsPhysical activity
Musculoskeletal pain
Sustematic review
systematic review
Issue date2016
JournalWorkplace Health and Safety
Abstract(s)This article reviews the effectiveness of physical activity (PA) interventions at the workplace to reduce musculoskeletal pain among employees and assesses the effect size of these programs using meta-analysis. Four databases (i.e., PubMed, EBSCO, Web of Science, and Cochrane) were searched for research trials, which included comparison groups of employees that assessed PA programs, musculoskeletal pain, and health-related behaviors, published between January 1990 and March 2013. The meta-analysis estimates of standardized mean differences (Hedges' g) present significant evidence of less general pain (g = -.40 with a 95% confidence interval [CI] = [-0.78, -0.02]) and neck and shoulder pain (g = -.37 with a 95% CI = [-0.63, -0.12]) in intervention groups. The few studies of low back pain and arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger pain did not present sufficient statistically significant evidence. Consistent evidence demonstrates that workplace PA interventions significantly reduce general musculoskeletal pain and neck and shoulder pain. More studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of work-related PA interventions for arm, elbow, wrist, hand or finger, and low back pain.
Publisher version
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Papers in international journals

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