[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.
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