The subjects in the study were 114 persons receiving a disability pension or referred for disability assessment. They were placed in two groups of 57 persons each, one with marked cervicobrachial syndrome and the other without. The latter group was chosen by the method of equivalent pairs with regard to sex and age. All subjects underwent a clinical examination and a standardized questionnaire was completed. The questionnaire pertained to the state of health, focussing on the amount and type of physical burdening at the workplace and on activities outside the workplace. Sixty-five percent of the subjects were aged from 51 to 60 years. A statistically significant difference was established between earlier occupation and cervicobrachial syndrome. Cervicobrachial syndrome was found in 31.6% of unskilled workers and 12.3% of the controls (P < 0.05). A forced body posture during work was recorded in 74% of the subjects with the syndrome and in 50% of the control subjects (P < 0.05). Repetitive movements at work were reported by a large number of subjects with cervicobrachial syndrome (71.9:49.1%; P < 0.05) who also claimed to strain the arms (84.2:61.4%; P < 0.05) and burden the cervical spine (68.5:40.4%; P < 0.05) during household activities to a significantly greater extent than the controls. A possible preventive approach to the occurrence and progression of cervicobrachial syndrome is discussed.