Content » Vol 34, Issue 2

Does good trunk extensor performance protect against back-related work disability?

Aaro Rissanen , Markku Heliövaara , Hannu Alaranta , Simo Taimela , Esko Mälkiä , Paul Knekt , Antti Reunanen , Arpo Aromaa
DOI: 10.1080/165019702753557845


In this cohort study, dynamic trunk extensor performance was studied as a predictor of permanent work disability due to back disorders. As part of the comprehensive Mini-Finland Health Survey in 1978-80, the back muscle performance of 535 persons (267 men, 268 women) was measured using standardized repetitive arch-up and sit-up tests. At baseline, the participants were between 30 and 64 years of age. Retirements were followed for 12 years on average. During the follow-up, 56 subjects developed permanent work disability; 15 of these cases were backrelated. Good dynamic trunk extensor performance was predictive of a decreased incidence of work disability due to chronic back disorders but not work disability due to other diseases. The risk of back-related work disability in the three highest quartiles in relation to the lowest quartile of dynamic trunk extension capacity was 0. 28 (95% confidence interval, 0. 09-0. 94). Our study suggests that good dynamic trunk extension performance may protect against back-related permanent work disability.

Lay Abstract


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