FLIGHT-RELATED MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN AND DISCOMFORT IN GENERAL AVIATION PILOTS FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND

Previous research studies have documented an exceptionally high prevalence of back pain and other musculoskeletal discomfort among aviators. This study specifically addresses the prevalence of flight-related musculoskeletal pain and discomfort among general aviation pilots. A sample of 174 British and Irish general aviation pilots completed questionnaires requesting information on the location, frequency and severity of pain, as well as the time for pain to onset and subside. Associations between pain and personal or flight-related characteristics were explored to determine whether any of these factors increased the risk of pain. Of the pilots in the sample, 53% reported pain and discomfort. The most common pain reported was mild-to-moderate lower back pain, occurring daily or at least weekly. Pain generally onset after 90 min of flying, and subsided within 12 hours of leaving the cockpit, although most of the pain had subsided within 60 min post flight. Pain and discomfort were positively correlated with annual flying hours and total flight experience. Musculoskeletal pain showed little impact on flying duties. These findings indicate that most flight-related pain probably is caused by postural fatigue and static stress brought about by the prolonged, static, unnatural sitting position of pilots. Back pain and discomfort could be substantially reduced by short-term solutions such as personal lumbar supports or long-term measures such as better-designed cockpit seating.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Incorporated

    10 Industrial Avenue
    Mahwah, NJ  United States  07430-2262
  • Authors:
    • Simpson, P A
    • Porter, J M
  • Publication Date: 2003

Language

  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00960795
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 21 2003 12:00AM