Abstract By examining back pain risk, both its incidence and distribution, it becomes possible to focus on contributory factors bringing on its onset. Analyzing risks of back pain in a study of 250 employees from 9 organizations in Israel's labor force, demonstrated the link between attitudes, worker characteristics, job and back pain. Distinguishing between reported chronic and sporadic episodes demonstrates that rates of back pain incidence differ by the type of worker, arrangements of the workplace, and task requirements. Tracing the impact of physical factors on back pain risk led to negative results, as explained in this study. From the analysis of severity ratio, it may be concluded that work environments generally associated with less physically strenous work tasks, have less risk of severe back pain cases. The findings also lead to the conclusion that occupational status, in and of itself, does not appear to be linked to risk of back pain—even though lower status occupations do have a tendency toward greater risk of severe chronic back pain.