Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that specific occupational physical activities are risk factors for knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: A population-based case-control study of knee osteoarthritis was carried out in which 109 men and women with painful, radiographically confirmed knee OA were compared with 218 age and sex matched controls who had not suffered knee pain and had normal radiographs. Information collected included a lifetime occupational history and details of specific workplace physical activities. RESULTS: After adjustment for obesity and Heberden's nodes, the risk of knee OA was significantly elevated in subjects whose main job entailed more than 30 minutes per day squatting (OR 6.9, 95% CI 1.8-26.4) or kneeling (OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.3-9.1), or climbing more than ten flights of stairs per day (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.2-6.1). The increase in risk associated with kneeling or squatting appeared to be more marked in subjects whose jobs entailed heavy lifting, but the size of the study did not permit precise delineation of any such interaction. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that prolonged or repeated knee bending is a risk factor for knee OA, and that risk may be higher in jobs which entail both knee bending and mechanical loading.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann rheum dis

Publication Date





90 - 93


Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Case-Control Studies, Female, Humans, Knee Joint, Male, Middle Aged, Movement, Multivariate Analysis, Occupational Diseases, Osteoarthritis, Radiography, Risk Factors