An exploration of the relationship between back muscle endurance and familial, physical, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors in adolescents and young adults

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2011 Jul;41(7):486-95. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2011.3638. Epub 2011 Jun 7.


Study design: Cross-sectional investigation.

Objective: To explore the relationship between back muscle endurance (BME) and a range of familial, physical, lifestyle, and psychosocial variables in adolescents and young adults.

Background: There is evidence that low back pain interventions which focus on improved BME are effective. However, the mechanisms associated with BME performance in adolescents and young adults are largely unclear. In particular, the potential familial relationship between parents and their children remains unexplored.

Methods: This study utilized a subset of participants from the Joondalup Spinal Health Study cohort. One hundred nine children (47 boys, 62 girls) and 101 parents (39 fathers, 62 mothers) completed a series of physical, lifestyle, and psychosocial assessments. The univariable relationship between each covariate and BME was explored. Those found to have an association with child BME (P<.2) were included in an initial multivariable model and sequentially removed, until all remaining covariates were statistically significant (P<.05).

Results: Mothers' BME performance was related to children's performance, accounting for 14.4% of the variance in the children's BME. Fathers' BME performance had a similar, albeit nonsignificant effect. Children's sitting trunk angle, pain sensitivity, percent trunk fat, waist girth, and body mass index were associated with their BME performance, accounting for between 5.2% and 20.9% of BME.

Conclusions: The final multivariable model, including mother's BME, percent trunk fat, and sitting trunk angle, explained 28% of the variance in BME performance, suggesting that for successful BME intervention a range of multidimensional variables should be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Back / physiopathology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology*
  • Low Back Pain / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult