Musculoskeletal disorders are common and with mental disorders constitute the two main causes for work disability in our society. However, our knowledge of the trends of musculoskeletal morbidity, risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders and work disability is insufficient. Prospective studies, in particular, are needed. Farmers are a high risk
group for low back pain and osteoarthritis and for work disability due to these disorders. This study explores the change in musculoskeletal symptoms from 1979 to 1992, the
occurrence and risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders in asymptomatic middle-aged farmers in a 12-year follow-up, and risk factors of work disability in a ten-year follow-up
of Finnish farmers.