BACKGROUND: Pain in the lower extremities is common among blue-collar workers, with prolonged static standing as a potential risk factor. However, little is known about the association between diurnal accelerometer measures of static standing and pain in the lower extremities, and the potential importance of temporal patterns of static standing for this association.
RESEARCH QUESTION: We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association between accelerometer measures of total static standing time and temporal patterns (bout duration) of static standing (short: 0-5 min; moderate: >5-10 min; and long bouts: >10 min) during total day, work and leisure and pain intensity (on a 0-10 scale) in hips, knees and feet/ankles.
METHODS: Accelerometers were used to measure static standing during four consecutive days among 677 blue-collar workers. Linear regression analyses were used to investigate the association between static standing time and pain intensity in the lower extremities.
RESULTS: Total static standing time comprised, on average, 3.9 h per day. 72.6% of the workers were exposed to long bouts of static standing, averaging 0.1 h per day. Short bouts of static standing were positively associated with hip and knee pain during total day, and positively associated with knee pain during work. Also, total static standing time during leisure was positively associated with knee and hip pain. A negative, but not significant, association was found for static standing in moderate bouts at work and hip pain.
SIGNIFICANCE: Even though the associations found were weak, these findings suggest that the temporal pattern of static standing is of importance for pain in the lower extremities. Future research should examine the possibility that moderate bouts of standing could play a role in preventing lower extremity pain.