J Med Assoc Thai 2010; 93 (12):142

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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Low Back Pain among the University Staff
Khruakhorn S Mail, Sritipsukho P , Siripakarn Y , Vachalathiti R

Background: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders in the population especially in
working population. Many intrinsic and extrinsic factors have been evaluated for associated factor for LBP. Epidemiological
researches have been provided information on the prevalence and risk factors of LBP in the workers. Little information has
related individual and work-related factors to the prevalence of LBP among the university staff in Thailand.

Aim: The author aims to investigate the prevalence of LBP and explore risk factors of LBP among university staff in the
government sector.

Material and Method:
The self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 1,183 university staff on the list by official
messenger. Data were collected over three months between October and December 2008. The questionnaire included low
back pain information, demographic data, work-related characteristics, and habitual physical activity level. Data were
analyzed using Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression techniques. The 6-month prevalence and associated risk
factors were presented.

Results: Eight hundred and three staff returned the questionnaires (response rate of 67.9%). The past 6-month prevalence of
self-reported LBP was 22.3% (95% CI: 19.4-25.2). The result of multivariate analysis showed that habitual physical activity
level were found to be independent factors associated with the LBP (p-value = 0.048 by LRT) after adjusted for gender,
nutritional level and work activity in a day. The physical activity as athletic level appeared to be the protective effect when
compared to sedentary level (adjusted OR 0.43, 95% CI: 0.20-0.94).

Conclusion: Based on the results of the study, the physical activity as athletic level appears to be associated with the 6-month
prevalence of LBP. Consequently, it is important that prevention programs take into account this risk factor in order to reduce
the frequency of low back injuries in university staff and improve their work efficiency.

Keywords:
Low back pain, Prevalence, University staff, Associated risk factors

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