Work is a Risk Factor for Adolescent Musculoskeletal Pain

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The study objectives were to determine the incidence of musculoskeletal pain in a cohort of adolescents and whether work is a risk factor for its development. 502 students in the seventh to ninth grades responded to a questionnaire at three times over a 12-month period, addressing musculoskeletal health and lifestyle factors. Annual incidence of musculoskeletal pain was 38%. Adolescents who worked developed pain more than those who did not work (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 1.62, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96, 2.76). Those who worked in white-collar jobs were at a higher risk of developing pain than those in blue-collar jobs or childcare. The conclusion that work is associated with musculoskeletal pain development in adolescents implies that implementation of prevention strategies in the workplace should include adolescents who work.

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