Tension neck and evaluation of a physical training course among office workers in a bank corporation


Margita Klemetti, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 aH, FIN-00250, Finland.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a physical training course in a group of patients (n=74) suffering from chronic tension neck. All participants in the course were employed by a bank corporation in Helsinki, Finland. A comparable control group (n=77) consisted of office workers with tension neck from the same bank corporation who did not attend any training course. The outcome was analysed 6 months after the course. Pain and disability in the neck and shoulder region did not vary significantly between the group which participated in the training course and the control group. The experimental group had increased the amount of physical workout compared to the control group (83.7% vs 69.0%, P= 0.0448). Also, regarding the frequency of relaxation and stretching exercises the two groups differed significantly: the experimental group had continued to perform exercises more often (P= 0.0434). The frequency of sick leave days did not significantly differ between the groups, but the office workers in the experimental group had more periods of extended sick leave (> 10 days) and the controls had more frequent short sick leaves. The experimental group did increase their physical workout significantly compared with the controls, but no differences were detected regarding pain and disability. In order to gain more benefit more attention should be paid to the educational part of the training courses in order to enhance the patients'self-care abilities. Also, strategies to alleviate psychosocial problems and organized relaxation exercises could decrease muscle tension in the neck in office workers.