Risk factors of back pain frequency in schoolchildren: a search for explanations to a public health problem

Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(7):849-54. doi: 10.1080/08035250213208.


This study examined physical, behavioral and social factors associated with schoolchildren's back pain. Factors associated with back pain were also identified using a stepwise regression method. The study was based on a self-administered questionnaire survey of a random national sample of 2173 Icelandic 11-12 and 15-16-y-old schoolchildren. It found that older subjects tended to report back pain more frequently than younger children. Back pain showed significant associations with different aspects of physical condition such as chronic health conditions, tiredness and physical fitness. A number of behavioral factors including participation in sports, television viewing, eating habits and smoking also had a relationship with back pain. Finally, children with lower social support were more likely to experience back pain.

Conclusion: Overall, four major factors (age, morning tiredness, eating habits and parental support) emerged as factors associated with back pain in the study subjects. These results highlighted the roles of lifestyle and social factors in the experience of back pain in schoolchildren.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Back Pain / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Iceland / epidemiology
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors