The aim of this investigation was to study the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) and its relationship to chair designs and sitting postures in Sultan Qaboos University (SQU).
A cross-sectional survey using a standardized questionnaire with established reliability and validity. The questionnaire sought information on social and demographic characteristics, history of LBP, its duration, number of hours spent sitting in office, car and at home, job type, severity of LBP, factors predisposing to LBP and types of treatment used. All participants of this study were consented using a signed and attended consent form.
Three hundred subjects, 174 males and 126 females aged 20 - 60 years participated in the study. The prevalence of LBP among SQU staff was 44.7% of whom 68% had LBP for > 1 year and 66% had LBP for < 1year. Those who had LBP for > 1 year were mostly bellow 50 years of age.
It was found that the prevalence of LBP in SQU was higher among doctors (50.0%), technicians (48.1%) and administrators (46.9%) than in teachers (42.9%) and manual workers (22.2%). The study also showed a significant relationship between the duration of sitting in home chairs and LBP.
Keywords: Low back pain; duration, office chairs; home chairs; car seats; back and arm support, sitting position.