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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 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
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Low back pain
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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