Self-assessed and directly measured occupational physical activities - influence of musculoskeletal complaints, age and gender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study compares questionnaire assessed physical activity with direct technical measurements among cleaners and office workers, stratified regarding age, gender and self-reported neck/shoulder complaints. During two full working days number of steps was recorded by a pedometer, sitting/standing positions by a posimeter and heart rate by a Sport-Tester. In addition the subjects kept a work task diary for 10 days. There were high intra-individual variations in exposure between the days. Subjects with complaints rated their exposure higher than those without, although they in fact showed lower direct measured exposure. This may imply underestimation of exposure-effect relationships. Rate of perceived exertion showed low correlation with heart rate ratio within the two occupational groups, but high, 0.64 when the two groups were combined. Age and complaints explained 31% of the variance for the cleaners.


  • Istvan Balogh
  • Palle Örbaek
  • Kerstina Ohlsson
  • Catarina Nordander
  • Jeannette Unge
  • J Winkel
  • Gert-Åke Hansson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


  • misclassification bias, heart rate ratio, workload
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch