The Ohio State University College of Public Health recently released a study which showed that there is a strong association between physical work demands such as kneeling, crouching, bending, and moving large objects and developing arthritis. The study used data collected from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to measure the long term occupational exposure and the risk of developing arthritis and other chronic diseases later in life.
[Photo: Dr. Tom Wickizer]
“With an aging national and international workforce, more attention is being paid to chronic disease,” said Dr. Tom Wickizer, professor and chair of the division of health services management and policy. “This study will promote a better understanding of the effect of workplace factors in promoting chronic disease among older workers.”
Prior to this using O*Net, it was difficult to determine a correlation between these two factors because there was limited data available. O*NET uses 32 years of quantifiable data to estimate the correlation between physical demanding jobs and arthritis.
As a result of these findings, healthy workers may be more likely to select jobs that are less physically demanding and workers in poor health may be more likely to leave demanding jobs. In the future, it is likely that O*NET will be used in studies similar to this where it is necessary to study long term data.
Get the link to the American Journal of Industrial Medicine article through cph.osu.edu.