Being highly active reduces the risk of chronic lower back pain by 16 per cent, new research reveals.
Regular moderate activity lowers the risk by 14 per cent, a study review found.
Yet, exercise has no impact on short-term back pain or that which causes hospitalisation or disability, the research adds.
Dr Joel Press, physiatrist-in-chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, who was not involved in the study, said: ‘We were meant to move. We were not meant to be stagnant in any way.
‘Generally lower impact, walking type things are probably the starting point. Swimming is another low impact activity that puts less load on your back’.
How the study was carried out
Researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki analysed data from 36 studies that included 158,475 people.
The studies’ participants did not have back pain at the start of the investigations.
Physical activity was defined as sport and intentional exercise, as well as walking and climbing stairs.
The participants were considered active if they engaged in physical activity at least twice a week for a minimum of 60 minutes.
Results revealed that being highly active reduces the risk of chronic lower back pain by 16 per cent compared to those who do not regularly exercise.
Moderate activity reduces the risk by 14 per cent.
Yet, exercise does not have an impact on short-term back pain or that which causes hospitalisation or disability.
The findings were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.