Sains Malaysiana 43(3)(2014): 423–428


Low Back Pain and Associated Risk Factors among Health Science Undergraduates

(Sakit Belakang dan Faktor Risikonya dalam Kalangan Prasiswazah Sains Kesihatan)




Physiotherapy Program, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Received: 9 January 2013/Accepted: 17 July 2013



Identification of associated risk factors is important to enable successful implementation of low back pain prevention strategies. To date, there is limited research data on back pain among young adults in Malaysia despite an increasing incidence of this disabling condition worldwide. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine the incidence of low back pain (LBP) and associated factors among health science undergraduates. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to full time students of a main public university. One hundred and forty undergraduates; mean age 21.4±1.3 years, 70% female, 60% in year 3 of study, participated in the survey. The results showed that 31% spent between 6 and 8 h and another 31% spent more than 9 h sitting in a day. Twelve percent of the undergraduates rated their fitness level as ‘poor’. The incidence of LBP was 40.3% among the undergraduates. LBP incidence was associated with age (X2=12.1, p=0.007), years of study (X2=8.7, p=0.03), self-rated physical fitness (X2=7.0, p=0.02) and hours spent sitting (X2 =8.7, p=0.03). Gender, body mass index and hours spent in sports and physical activity were not associated with LBP. The findings from this study demonstrate that physical fitness and sitting duration is associated with low back pain among health science undergraduates. Health science undergraduates should improve their physical fitness, practice frequent breaks and stretching during sitting. This will help to minimize LBP related to decreased fitness levels and prolonged sitting.


Keywords: Back pain; physical fitness; sitting; undergraduates



Mengenal pasti faktor risiko adalah penting dalam implementasi strategi pencegahan sakit belakang. Data kajian mengenai sakit belakang dalam kalangan generasi muda adalah terhad di Malaysia di sebalik peningkatan insiden kondisi ini di seluruh dunia. Kajian keratan rentas ini bertujuan mengenal pasti insiden sakit belakang dan faktor risikonya dalam kalangan prasiswazah sains kesihatan. Soal-selidik kajian diedar kepada prasiswazah sepenuh masa sebuah universiti tempatan. Sejumlah 140 prasiswazah; min umur 21.4±1.3 tahun, 70% perempuan, 60% dalam tahun 3 pengajian telah mengambil bahagian di dalam kajian ini. Hasil kajian menunjukkan bahawa 31% daripada prasiswazah menghabiskan sejumlah 6 hingga 8 jam sehari dalam posisi duduk manakala dalam kalangan 31% lagi prasiswazah, jumlah masa berada dalam posisi duduk dalam sehari melebihi 9 jam. Dua belas peratus daripada prasiswazah menilai tahap kecergasan mereka sebagairendah’. Insiden sakit belakang dalam kalangan prasiswazah ini ialah 40.3%. Sakit belakang didapati berkait dengan faktor umur (X2=12.1, p=0.007), tempoh pengajian (X2=8.7, p=0.03), tahap kecergasan fizikal (X2=7.0, p=0.02) dan tempoh duduk (X2 =8.7, p=0.03). Jantina, indeks jisim tubuh dan tempoh aktiviti fizikal dan sukan tidak berkait dengan sakit belakang. Keputusan ini menunjukkan peranan kecergasan fizikal dan tempoh duduk terhadap insiden sakit belakang dalam kalangan prasiswazah sains kesihatan. Prasiswazah perlu meningkatkan kecergasan fizikal dan mengamalkan rehat dan regangan yang kerap sewaktu duduk bagi meminimumkan risiko sakit belakang akibat penurunan tahap kecergasan dan duduk yang terlalu lama.


Kata kunci: Duduk yang lama; kecergasan fizikal; prasiswazah; sakit belakang




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