Print Edition - 2017-07-06  |  Health and Living

Being active may reduce risk of chronic low back pain

  • Study finds

Jul 6, 2017-

Regularly engaging in physical activity, from walking to intense exercise, may help to reduce the risk of chronic low back pain by as much as 16 percent, according to a new review of previous studies.

In the past, it hasn’t been clear whether physical activity staves off low back pain, or people without back pain are more likely to be active, the researchers write in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. To help determine which comes first, the review team analysed data from 36 studies that followed nearly 160,000 people over time who didn’t have back pain at the start.

To standardise definitions from the various studies,  Dr Rhaman Shiri, a researcher with Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki counted any non-work-related physical effort, including walking and climbing stairs, as physical activity in addition to sports or other forms of intentional exercise. People were considered active if they engaged in such physical activity at least once or twice a week for at least 30 to 60 minutes, or if they were in the middle or high end of total physical activity within their study group.

The researchers found that for moderately or highly active people, the risk of developing chronic low back pain was 14 percent and 16 percent, respectively, 

lower compared with people in the least-active category.

Published: 06-07-2017 08:45

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