International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health

, Volume 82, Issue 7, pp 797–806

Sedentary lifestyle as a risk factor for low back pain: a systematic review

Authors

  • Shu-Mei Chen
    • School of Exercise and Nutrition SciencesDeakin University
    • Faculty of Physical TherapyKaohsiung Medical University
  • Mei-Fang Liu
    • Faculty of Physical TherapyKaohsiung Medical University
  • Jill Cook
    • School of Exercise and Nutrition SciencesDeakin University
  • Shona Bass
    • School of Exercise and Nutrition SciencesDeakin University
    • Faculty of Physical TherapyKaohsiung Medical University
    • Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural SciencesDeakin University
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-009-0410-0

Cite this article as:
Chen, S., Liu, M., Cook, J. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2009) 82: 797. doi:10.1007/s00420-009-0410-0

Abstract

Objectives

To review systematically studies examining the association between sedentary lifestyle and low back pain (LBP) using a comprehensive definition of sedentary behaviour including prolonged sitting both at work and during leisure time.

Methods

Journal articles published between 1998 and 2006 were obtained by searching computerized bibliographical databases. Quality assessment of studies employing a cohort or case–control design was performed to assess the strength of the evidence.

Results

Using pre-determined keywords, we identified 1,778 titles of which 1,391 were considered irrelevant. Then, 20 of the remaining 387 publications were scrutinized for full review after an examination of all the 387 abstracts. Finally, 15 studies (10 prospective cohorts and 5 case–controls) were included in the methodological quality assessment, of which 8 (6 cohorts and 2 case–controls; 53%) were classified as high-quality studies. One high-quality cohort study reported a positive association, between LBP and sitting at work only; all other studies reported no significant associations. Hence, there was limited evidence to demonstrate that sedentary behaviour is a risk factor for developing LBP.

Conclusions

The present review confirms that sedentary lifestyle by itself is not associated with LBP.

Keywords

Low back painSedentary behaviourProlonged sittingRisk factor

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009