Background: Low back pain (LBP) is considered to affect both young and elderly adults. Med students appear to provide time-consuming curricula, likely perpetuating sedentary habits and a significant burden of LBP among med students. The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of LBP and to see if there is any association between LBP and sedentary lifestyle or (to identify the associated factors) among medical students in King Abdulaziz University.
Methodology: A quantitative cross-sectional study included 380 out of 2000 medical students from all years using a self-administered questionnaire in English distributed to a targeted sample adapted from previously published research by AlShayhan et al.
Results: 52.4% were females and 47.6% males. 26.3% of participants were 20 years or less, 37.3% were 21- 22 years. 19.3% were smokers. 34.6% practice exercises currently. The number of hours using computers or tablets was reported as 2-4 hours in 15.9%, 4-6 hours in 22.4%, 6-8 hours in 18.1%, and 8-10 hours in 12.7%. 7.9% reported a history of surgery or trauma to the back, 44.2% reported a history of back pain in family members and treated by a doctor, 49% had a history of low back trouble since joined the college (ache, pain, discomfort), 54.7% had a history of low back trouble once in life (ache, pain, discomfort), 3.7% reported a history of hospitalization because of low back pain and 9.3% reported skipping a day because of low back pain.
Conclusion: Lower back pain is common among med school students in King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. It is significantly associated with age and the number of hours using computers or tablets. University students should be advised to avoid risk factors as much as possible.