Work-related repetitive strain injury and leisure-time physical activity
Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007
Copyright © 2007 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 57, Issue 3, pages 495–500, 15 April 2007
How to Cite
Ratzlaff, C. R., Gillies, J. H. and Koehoorn, M. W. (2007), Work-related repetitive strain injury and leisure-time physical activity. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 57: 495–500. doi: 10.1002/art.22610
- Issue published online: 29 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 JUL 2006
- Manuscript Received: 28 FEB 2006
- St. Paul's Hospital Foundation
- Graduate Fellowship from the University of British Columbia
- Scholar Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
- Repetitive strain injury;
- Occupational diseases;
- Occupational health;
- Physical activity;
- Population health;
To investigate the relationship between leisure-time physical activity and work-related repetitive strain injury (RSI), adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and work-related physical and stress factors.
The data source was the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey, a national cross-sectional survey of 134,072 respondents. The analysis was limited to a sample of the survey population reporting full-time work during the past 12 months (n = 58,622). The outcome of interest was work-related RSI of the upper body. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between the outcome and leisure-time physical activity level, adjusted for sociodemographic, health, and occupational characteristics. The potential effect of leisure-time physical activity with a high upper-body load was investigated in a secondary analysis.
The prevalence of upper-body work-related RSI was 5.9% in the Canadian population in 2003. An active lifestyle during leisure time was associated with a lower prevalence of work-related upper-body RSI (odds ratio 0.84, 99% confidence interval 0.75–0.95), after adjustment for work physical demands and other covariates. Female sex, obesity, smoking, age, work-related stress, and work physical demands were associated with RSI. In the secondary analysis, we did not find that participating in leisure-time activities with a high upper-body load was a risk factor for RSI.
Our study results indicate that being physically active during leisure time is associated with a decreased risk of upper-body occupational RSI, adding another potential health benefit to participation in leisure-time physical activity.