PainSci summary of Hartvigsen 2000?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
This review of 35 scientific papers (8 of them high quality) about sitting-while-at-work as a risk factor for low back pain found that the “extensive recent epidemiological literature does not support the popular opinion that sitting-while-at-work is associated with LBP.”
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
OBJECTIVES: To present a critical review and evaluate recent reports investigating sitting-while-at-work as a risk factor for low back pain (LBP).
METHODS: The Medline, Embase and OSH-ROM databases were searched for articles dealing with sitting at work in relation to low back pain for the years 1985-97. The studies were divided into those dealing with sitting-while-working and those dealing with sedentary occupations. Each article was systematically abstracted for core items. The quality of each article was determined based on the representativeness of the study sample, the definition of LBP, and the statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Thirty-five reports were identified, 14 dealing with sitting-while-working and 21 with sedentary occupations. Eight studies were found to have a representative sample, a clear definition of LBP and a clear statistical analysis. Regardless of quality, all but one of the studies failed to find a positive association between sitting-while-working and LBP. High quality studies found a marginally negative association for sitting compared to diverse workplace exposures, e.g. standing, driving, lifting bending, and compared to diverse occupations. One low quality study associated sitting in a poor posture with LBP.
CONCLUSIONS: The extensive recent epidemiological literature does not support the popular opinion that sitting-while-at-work is associated with LBP.
- “Spinal mechanical load as a risk factor for low back pain: a systematic review of prospective cohort studies,” an article in Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2009.
- “Sedentary lifestyle as a risk factor for low back pain: a systematic review,” an article in Int Arch Occup Environ Health, 2009.
- “Association between sitting and occupational LBP,” an article in European Spine Journal, 2007.
These three articles on PainScience.com cite Hartvigsen 2000 as a source:
- PS The Trouble with Chairs — The science of being sedentary and how much it does (or doesn’t) affect your health and back pain
- PS A Guide to Sciatica Treatment for Patients — A guide to buttock and leg pain (which may or may not involve the sciatic nerve)
- PS Save Yourself from Low Back Pain! — Low back pain myths debunked and all your treatment options reviewed
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.
- Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Paige 2017 JAMA.
- Incidence of Spontaneous Resorption of Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Meta-Analysis. Zhong 2017 Pain Physician.