The aim of this study was to assess effects of exercise on shoulder musculoskeletal symptoms among employees with overhead assembly work exposures.
A voluntary workplace shoulder exercise program was offered to employees in two automotive assembly departments, while two similar departments served as controls. N = 76 total workers participated. Shoulder Rating Questionnaire (SRQ) and Discomfort of the Arm Shoulder and Hand (DASH) symptoms were queried monthly for 7 baseline months, followed by 6 months that included exercise.
SRQ scores were higher for exercisers than among controls in the 6 exercising months, but not in the baseline months. Although the group x month interaction was significant (P < 0.05), the temporal trend was inconsistent.
Exercise may have temporarily lessened decline in SRQ. It is not clear whether shorter term differences were clinically meaningful or predictive of longer term disability prevention.