Gender Difference in Prevalence of Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Symptoms among Swedish Pig Farmers

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Englund, Jan-Eric;
  • StÃ¥l, Marianne


There have been very few epidemiological studies dealing with pig farmers' musculoskeletal health. The aim of this study was to carry out a cross-section postal questionnaire survey dealing with musculoskeletal symptoms among female and male pig farmers in large-scale production. The participation rate overall was 70% (288/410). Over 10% of the questionnaires had missing gender data. Three different questionnaires were used: the general standardized Nordic questionnaire for the analysis of musculoskeletal symptoms; a questionnaire dealing with occurrence of numbness, reduced muscle strength, etc., in the wrists and hands; and occupational factors were screened by a special questionnaire. The results showed that musculoskeletal morbidity is high among pig farmers. The women had significantly more problems than the men with respect to the upper extremities. Symptoms in the wrists and hands such as numbness, reduced muscle strength, aching fingers and wrists, and tendency to drop things were significantly more common among the women than the men. Occupational factors dealing with, for example, the size of the pig farm, were not related to the occurrence of symptoms. Occupational factors of importance for the development of disorders, particularly among women pig farmers, should be given priority in ergonomic interventions.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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