The relationship between low back pain and physical activity among nurses in Kanombe Military Hospital
Frantz, Jose M.
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Low back pain is said to be a major health threat which leads to disability in high and low-income countries. Nurses have been singled out amongst professional workers as one of those that are most prone to suffer from occupation-related low back pain. Physical activity has been recommended for the health and well-being of individuals, as well as in the management of low back pain. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between low back pain and physical activity levels among nurses in Kanombe Hospital, Kigali, as well as other confounding factors that lead to low back pain. This study adopted a cross-sectional and descriptive design. A total of 133 nurses participated in this study. Three self- administered questionnaires were used: socio-demographic data questionnaire, international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ) and the Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire (NMQ). More than three-quarters of the participants had low back pain (78%) and female nurses were more affected than their male counterparts (84%). Low back pain was significantly associated with gender(P=0.001) and marital status (P=0.020). Higher job-related physical activity (84%) and lower leisure-time physical activity (5%) were reported among nurses. Age (P=0.033), marital status (P=0.001) and working experience (P=0.026) of nurses were significantly associated with physical activity, but not with low back pain. There is a need for leisure-time physical activity to be promoted among nurses at Kanombe Hospital, as this would reduce the risk of back injury due to the high level of job-related physical activity.