Table 1

Baseline sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics in the study population of persons with occasional neck, shoulder and/or arm pain at baseline (n=6979)

Low strain
Active jobs
Passive jobs
High strain
Age (years)
Country of birth
Socioeconomic class*
 Unskilled and semiskilled workers65613647162343335
 Skilled workers6111262676161111
 Assistant non-manual employees7781510711108231212
 Intermediate non-manual employees1358263213390192424
 Employed/self-employed professionals, civil servants and executives126524331342961010
 Self-employed (other than professionals)492108498244
Sleep disturbances
 Moderately heavy11562219219149291818
Low support at work from superiors (yes)4581832132183356969
Low support at work from colleagues (yes)62291501571142020
Economic stress (yes)†367777873141616
Household work
 >5 h/week21354045645183363939
Comorbidity LBP
 Yes, 2 days or more often during previous 6 months33186264865345676767
Smoking habits (daily)702131211279151313
Alcohol (yes, sometime during the past 12 months)49459394995458898787
Leisure physical activity level
 Sedentary <2 h/week47791021083161818
 Active ≥2 h/week48779189589432848181
  • *Socioeconomic class: based on occupation and education.

  • †Economic stress (“Did it happen that during the past 12 months you ran out of salary/money and had to borrow from relatives and friends in order to pay for food or rent?”). LBP, low back pain.