Objectives: To examine the association between occupational physical demands and risk of same-level falls resulting in fracture in female workers’ compensation claimants.
Methods: From workers’ compensation claims for same-level falls, 7286 female workers from three age groups (18–49, 50–59 and 60–79 years) were randomly selected. Levels of occupational physical activity, standing and sitting were assigned using occupational codes. Fracture occurrence was determined using the International Classification of Diseases codes. Risks of same-level falls resulting in fracture were compared by quartiles of physical activity, standing and sitting.
Results: In the 18–49-year age group, physical activity, standing and sitting at work were not significantly associated with risk of same-level falls resulting in fracture (p value trend: 0.07, 0.18 and 0.10, respectively). In the 50–59 and 60–79-year age groups, increasing duration of standing and decreasing duration of sitting were associated with decreasing risk of same-level falls resulting in fracture (p value trend: standing <0.001, 0.01; sitting <0.001, 0.02). In the 50–59-year age group, the relative risks of same-level falls resulting in fracture were 0.53, 0.41 and 0.82 for the second, third and highest quartiles of physical activity, respectively, as compared with workers in the lowest quartile (95% confidence interval 0.35 to 0.80, 0.23 to 0.72, 0.56 to 1.21, respectively). In the 60–79-year age group, there was a similar, but not significant, U-shaped association between occupational physical activity and risk of same-level falls resulting in fracture.
Conclusion: Moderate occupational physical demands may be associated with a decreased risk of same-level fall resulting in fracture in female workers’ compensation claimants ⩾50 years of age.
- HRT, hormone replacement therapy
- ICD-9 CM, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification
- O*NET, Occupational Information Network
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Funding: This research was funded by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA 01748, USA.
Competing interests: None.
This study was approved by the institutional review committee of the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.