Data from: Does the performance of five back-associated exercises relate to the presence of low back pain? A cross-sectional observational investigation in regional Australian council workers


Objectives: investigate the relationships between the ability/inability to perform five physical test-exercises and the presence or absence of low back pain (LBP). Setting: regional Australian council training facility. Participants: consecutive participants recruited during 39 back education classes (8-26 participants per class) for workers in general office/administration, parks/gardens maintenance, roads maintenance, library, child-care and management. Total sample (n=539) was reduced through non-consent and insufficient demographic data to n=422. Age 38.6+/-15.3 years, range 18-64 years, 67.1% male. Methods: cross-sectional, exploratory, observational investigation. LBP presence was ascertained from a three-response option questionnaire: 0=none/rarely (NO) 1=sometimes (Some), 2=mostly/always (Most). Statistical correlation was performed with the number of the five test-exercises the individual successfully performed: 1) extension-in-lying, 3-seconds; 2) ‘toilet-squat’; feet flat, feet touched, 3-seconds; 3) full-squat then stand-up, 5-times; 4) supine sit-up, knees flexed, 10-times; and 5) leg-extension, supine bilateral, 10-times. Interventions: nil. Results: for the group ‘NO-Some’, 94.3% completed 4-5 test-exercises, for ‘With’, 95.7% completed 0-1 test-exercises. The relationship between LBP presence and number of exercises performed was highly significant (Χ2(10)=300.61, p<0.001). Further, multinomial logistic regression predicting LBP (0=NO, 1=Some, 2=Most) from the number of exercises completed, substantially improved the model fit (initial-2LL=348.246, final-2LL=73.620, Χ2(2)=274.626, p<0.001). As the number of exercises performed increased, the odds of reporting ‘Some-LBP’ or ‘Most-LBP’ dropped substantially (odds ratios of 0.34 and 0.17, respectively). Conclusion: the ability to complete/not-complete five test-exercises correlated statistically and significantly with a higher LBP presence/absence in a general working population. Training individuals to complete such exercises could facilitate reductions in LBP incidence however, causality cannot be inferred. Randomized trials are recommended to establish the potential efficacy of exercise-based approaches, considering these five selected exercises, for predicting and managing LBP.,Data File - Low back pain versus ability to perform 5 exercisesExcel file of data:A cross-sectional, exploratory, observational investigation was initiated over a period of 28 months in a population of employees with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council in Queensland, Australia. Workers from a convenience sample were consecutively recruited during 39 annual back educational programme classes of two hours duration. A total of 21 separate occupational categories were recorded and an additional ‘Other’ category for miscellaneous non-specified occupations. Class participant numbers ranged from 8-26, with a total sample of n=539. Only participants who consented were included. Data was excluded if there was insufficient demographic information. Consequently, the sample was reduced to a total of n=422, age 38.6±15.3 years, range 18-64 years, 67.3% male. Males were predominant in manual occupational roles including maintenance and construction, while females were predominant in carer and resource management including child-care, community services, library and records roles.Data File - LBP Y N Some v 5 Ex BMJ-O MAr 2018 n.xlsx

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