Association Between Exercise and Low Back Pain Resulting in Modified Duty and Lost Time: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of an Occupational Population

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The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between leisure time exercise and whether workers ever had modified duty or lost time (MD/LT) due to low back pain (LBP) in an occupational cohort.


Workers (N = 827) completed a structured interview assessing characteristics of their LBP, whether or not the pain caused modified or lost work time, and their participation in leisure time exercise. Odds ratio of modified/lost time and minutes of exercise participation were assessed.


Workers who participated in over 316 min/wk of leisure time exercise incurred significantly less modified/lost time, adjusted odds ratio = 0.46 (95% confidence interval, 0.23 to 0.98). There also lies a significant trend between increases in leisure time exercise and reductions in modified/lost time (P = 0.0016).


These results suggest exercise reduces risk of MD/LT from LBP.

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