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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 845851, 14 pages
Research Article

Lasting Effects of Workplace Strength Training for Neck/Shoulder/Arm Pain among Laboratory Technicians: Natural Experiment with 3-Year Follow-Up

1Novozymes A/S, Medical Centre, 2880 Bagsværd, Denmark
2Arthroscopic Centre Amager & Gait Analysis Laboratory, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark
3Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
4Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense, Denmark
5National Research Centre for the Working Environment, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

Received 22 November 2013; Revised 13 January 2014; Accepted 15 January 2014; Published 10 March 2014

Academic Editor: Nicola A. Maffiuletti

Copyright © 2014 Peter Mortensen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. This study investigated long-term effects and implementation processes of workplace strength training for musculoskeletal disorders. Methods. 333 and 140 laboratory technicians from private and public sector companies, respectively, replied to a 3-year follow-up questionnaire subsequent to a 1-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) with high-intensity strength training for prevention and treatment of neck, shoulder, and arm pain. Being a natural experiment, the two participating companies implemented and modified the initial training program in different ways during the subsequent 2 years after the RCT. Results. At 3-year follow-up the pain reduction in neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist achieved during the first year was largely maintained at both companies. However, the private sector company was rated significantly better than the public sector company in (1) training adherence, (2) training culture, that is, relatively more employees trained at the workplace and with colleagues, (3) self-reported health changes, and (4) prevention of neck and wrist pain development among initially pain-free employees. Conclusions. This natural experiment shows that strength training can be implemented successfully at different companies during working hours on a long-term basis with lasting effects on pain in neck, shoulder, and arm.