Musculoskeletal Pain or Discomfort

Questions about musculoskeletal pain or discomfort were part of a NIOSH-sponsored supplement on occupational injury that was administered in 1999-2004, 2008-2010, and 2014. The share of agricultural workers that reported having at least one musculoskeletal problem sometime in the previous 12 months was highest in 2001-2002 (23%) and lowest in 2008 (11%). The musculoskeletal problem most frequently reported by agricultural workers in 2014 was back pain or discomfort (8%), followed by pain or discomfort in the lower extremities (3%). In each data collection period, the vast majority of those who reported a musculoskeletal problem said the pain or discomfort they experienced was due to farm work. When asked whether the pain or discomfort from their injury rendered them unable to work normally, 23 percent said yes, for a number of days, and another 5 percent said yes, for weeks or months. When asked about the total amount of work missed due to pain, about one fifth said they missed work for less than a day (22%) and another six percent for a number of days.

Among agricultural workers who reported at least one musculoskeletal problem in the last 12 months — Length of missed work because of pain

To view current and trend data from the NAWS select from the links below:

Attention A T users. Data is presented in three formats, a bar chart, a textual data table, and a line chart. The data is best reviewed though the data table when using A T.

Bar Chart — Length of missed work because of pain

Data Table — Length of missed work because of pain1

Category 99-01 02-04 08-10 13-14
# % # % # % # %
Less than a day82142%1,04650%43751%12423%
Do not know6bbbbb00%

1 Questions were asked in 1999-2004, 2008-2010, and 2014; the 13-14 column contains data for 2014 only.

a Estimates with relative standard errors (RSEs) greater than 30 percent but no more than 50 percent are published but should be used with caution.

b Estimates based on fewer than four responses or with RSEs greater than 50 percent are considered statistically unreliable and are suppressed.

Trend Lines — Length of missed work because of pain