, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 581-588

Active or passive journeys and low back pain in adolescents

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Abstract

The objective of this cross-sectional study was to study associations between low back pain (LBP) and modes of transport to school and leisure activities among adolescents. The study population included all adolescents in eighth and ninth grade in two geographic areas in eastern Norway. Eighty-eight adolescents participated (mean age 14.7 years), making the response rate 84%. Data concerning active (walking/bicycling) and passive (bus/car) journeys were obtained from lists and maps from local authorities, and from the pupils, using a questionnaire that also included LBP, activities and wellbeing. Distance walked/bicycled to school was slightly shorter among those reporting LBP in bivariate analyses. Walking/bicycling more than 8 km weekly to regular activities was inversely associated with LBP in multivariate analysis (OR 0.3; 95% confidence interval 0.1–1.0). No associations were found between passive journeys and LBP. The results raise the question for future research of whether lack of active transport may be one cause behind the increase in juvenile LBP.