Frequent Exertion and Frequent Standing at Work Varies By Industry and Occupation Group Interview with:
Taylor M. Shockey, MPH

Title 42 Fellow
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies
NIOSH What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Research has linked repeated exposure to occupational ergonomic hazards, such as frequent exertion and frequent standing, to injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers.

To determine the industry and occupation groups that have the highest prevalence rates of frequent exertion at work and frequent standing at work, NIOSH researchers analyzed 2015 National Health Interview Survey data. The results showed large differences among the groups with the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry group having the highest prevalence of frequent exertion and standing at work (70.9%) and the construction and extraction occupation group having the highest prevalence of frequent exertion and standing at work (76.9%). These differences indicate a need for targeted interventions to reduce workplace exposure. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The main message from the article is that large differences exist in prevalence of frequent exertion at work and frequent standing at work among major industry and occupation groups. Nearly 40% of U.S. adult workers report both frequent exertion and frequent standing at work and further research is necessary to understand how these ergonomic exposures may affect worker health. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: These ergonomic exposures need to be examined in conjunction with health outcomes such as low back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders to determine if they are associated. Additionally, more research is needed to understand how time spent sitting and standing at work affect worker health and to determine what kind of balance needs to be achieved in order to improve worker health. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Industry and occupation as well as specific work-related exposures and outcomes are important determinants of health. These factors should continue to be evaluated through large-scale, national and state-wide surveys such as the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).



Frequent Exertion and Frequent Standing at Work, by Industry and Occupation Group — United States, 2015

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