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Personal and Workplace Environmental Factors Associated With Reduced Worker Productivity Among Older Workers With Chronic Knee Pain: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Agaliotis, Maria PhD; Mackey, Martin G. PhD; Heard, Robert PhD; Jan, Stephen PhD; Fransen, Marlene PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: April 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 4 - p e24–e34
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001000
Original Articles

Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore personal and workplace environmental factors as predictors of reduced worker productivity among older workers with chronic knee pain.

Methods: A questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 129 older workers who had participated in a randomized clinical trial evaluating dietary supplements. Multivariable analyses were used to explore predictors of reduced work productivity among older workers with chronic knee pain.

Results: The likelihood of presenteeism was higher in those reporting knee pain (≥3/10) or problems with other joints, and lower in those reporting job insecurity. The likelihood of work transitions was higher in people reporting knee pain (≥3/10), a high comorbidity score or low coworker support, and lower in those having an occupation involving sitting more than 30% of the day.

Conclusion: Allowing access to sitting and promoting positive affiliations between coworkers are likely to provide an enabling workplace environment for older workers with chronic knee pain.

School of Public Health & Community Medicine, University of New South Wales (Dr Agaliotis); Physiotherapy, Ageing, Work and Health Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences (Dr Mackey), and Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney (Dr Heard); The George Institute for Global Health Australia (Dr Jan); and Physiotherapy, Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (Dr Fransen).

Address correspondence to: Maria Agaliotis, PhD, School of Public Health & Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, 2050 NSW, Australia (m.agaliotis@unsw.edu.au).

This work was supported by Arthritis Australia (The Kevin R James Grant) awarded to Dr Maria Agaliotis as part of her PhD.

None of the authors have competing interests to declare.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine