Obesity and low back pain: A retrospective cohort study of Japanese males

Yuko Hashimoto, Ko Matsudaira, Susumu Sawada, Yuko Gando, Ryoko Kawakami, Chihiro Kinugawa, Takashi Okamoto, Koji Tsukamoto, Motohiko Miyachi, Hisashi Naito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


[Purpose] This study evaluated whether obesity is a risk factor for low back pain, by using body fat percentage (%FAT) and body mass index (BMI) as indices of obesity among Japanese males. [Subjects and Methods] This study included 1,152 males (average age: 28.0 ± 4.6 years). BMI was calculated from subject’s height and weight, and %FAT was estimated by the thickness of two parts of skin. Low back pain, drinking and smoking were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire, and maximal oxygen uptake was measured by a submaximal exercise test using a cycle ergometer. [Results] A significant positive dose-response relationship was shown between %FAT and persistent low back pain prevalence. Similarly, a significant positive dose-response relationship was confirmed between BMI and persistent low back pain. [Conclusion] This study suggests that both high %FAT and BMI are risk factors for persistent low back pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-983
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Therapy Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • Epidemiology
  • Low back pain
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Hashimoto, Y., Matsudaira, K., Sawada, S., Gando, Y., Kawakami, R., Kinugawa, C., Okamoto, T., Tsukamoto, K., Miyachi, M., & Naito, H. (2017). Obesity and low back pain: A retrospective cohort study of Japanese males. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 29(6), 978-983. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.29.978