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: This study determined the accuracy of workers in quantifying occupational physical demands on a self-administered questionnaire. METHODS: First, a self-administered questionnaire on work postures, manual materials-handling, and repetitive upper-limb movements was validated using direct simultaneous observations for 123 randomly selected employees from 6 occupational settings. Second, weight estimation accuracy was assessed on visual analogue scales for 6 manual materials-handling activities using 20 randomly selected employees from 1 occupational setting. RESULTS: At a dichotomous level (ever-never), the accuracy of most of the self-reported physical demands was good (sensitivity 60-100%; specificity 56-100%). A more-detailed analysis of the dimensions studied (frequency, duration and amplitude) also showed that the accuracy of the self-reported estimates was satisfactory. Full agreement between the estimated and observed frequency was >60% for most of the manual materials-handling activities. In addition the average difference between the estimated and observed duration of the physical demands was found to be small. Finally the average difference between the self-reported and actual weights of various loads was found to be modest. CONCLUSIONS: The self-reported questionnaire used in this study would provide a useful instrument for estimating occupational physical demands and the frequency, duration, and amplitude of these demands in future epidemiologic studies associated with musculoskeletal pain.


Journal article


Scand j work environ health

Publication Date





376 - 385


Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Ergometry, Female, Humans, Lifting, Male, Observer Variation, Occupations, Pain Measurement, Physical Exertion, Random Allocation, Reproducibility of Results, Surveys and Questionnaires, United Kingdom, Workload