Cornell University Ergonomics Web

Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaires (CMDQ) - German Versions

The following German versions of the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaires (CMDQ) have been translated and validated by Dr. med. Steffi Kreuzfeld Institut für Präventivmedizin arbeitsmedizin, sportmedizin,sozialmedizin, Universitätsmedizin Rostock St.-Georg-Str.108 18055 Rostock, Germany. The questionnaires are based on previous published research studies of musculoskeletal discomfort among office workers. Scoring of the questionnaires should be self-evident to anyone familiar with this type of research. If you need further assistance please contact Alan Hedge at

The following questionnaire files contain graphics and therefore have been organized as downloadable '.pdf' files, and these can be viewed and printed with Adobe Acrobat.

If you use any of these questionnaires in your research we ask that you acknowledge the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University as the source of the instruments.

Sedentary Workers (Nude body diagram)

Standing Workers (Clothed Body diagram)

Scoring Guidelines - Cornell Musculoskeletal and Hand Discomfort Questionnaires

These questionnaires are for research screening purposes and not for diagnostic purposes. Scores can be analyzed in 4 ways:

  1. by simply counting the number of symptoms per person
  2. by summing the rating values for each person
  3. by weighting the rating scores to more easily identify the most serious problems as follows:
    Never = 0
    1-2 times/week = 1.5
    3-4 times/week = 3.5
    Every day = 5
    Several times every day = 10
  4. by multiplying the above Frequency score (0,1.5 , 3.5, 5, 10) by the Discomfort score (1,2,3) by the Interference score (1,2,3)

In the computational analyses missing values can be coded as 0. If the missing value is for the frequency score then use this as a zero in multiplying, i.e. all combinations of Frequency, Discomfort and Interference become 0. However, if the missing value is in the Discomfort or Frequency score then treat it as missing so that the multiplied score will be at least the value of the Frequency score.

The individual items should also be analyzed to determine where there may be a postural problem for the person.

1)      What is the importance or benefit of multiplying frequency score by discomfort score by the interference score?  

This is just a way of spreading the scores so that you can more easily find the most severe cases. For example, if you have someone who has right shoulder pain every day (score of 5), and this is very uncomfortable (score of 3) and it substantially interferes with their work (score of 3), if we added their score it would only be 5+3+3 = 11, but if we multiply their score for the right shoulder it is 5x3x3 = 45.  So let’s compare this to someone who says they had right shoulder pain 3-4 times in the last week (score of 3.5) that is was moderately uncomfortable (score of 2) and that it slightly interfered with their work (score of 2), then if we added their score it would be 3.5+2+2 = 7.5, which doesn’t seem that much different from 11 for the previous person, but if we multiple their scores for the right shoulder it is 3.5x2x2 = 14, which is almost 1/3 of that for the previous. So by multiplying out the scores it really stretches the scales and lets us more easily see those people with the greatest problems.  

 2)      How can I classify the severity of discomfort into mild, moderate, or more.

The discomfort score is a severity of discomfort. Originally we had it as ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ and ‘severe discomfort’, but we found that people more easily understood the categories ‘slightly’, ‘moderately’ and ‘very uncomfortable’ . if you like you can replace the scale point titles with ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ and ‘severe discomfort’.  

Translation and Validation of the G-CMDQ