Time to Get off the Couch!
You all know that excess weight does lead to more spine complaints. At the same time, it takes more than weight control to keep your spine strong and functional. It takes EXERCISE.
In the December 15, 2015 Spine Journal, a paper by Physical Therapist, Ulrika Aasa, et al (Physical Activity Might be a Greater Importance of Good Spinal Control Than if You Have Had Pain or Not) described the relationship between spinal muscle control and level of physical fitness over their life until age 52.
The study looked at the answers to physical activity and low back pain by reviewing data collected on individuals at age 16, 34 and 52 years of age. Measurements of strength using two exercises where documented on 425 16 year old volunteers in 1974. These subjects were then re measured in 1992, and in 2010.
In the end, the paper concludes that higher back muscle endurance at age 34 could “positively predict” strength and fitness at age 52. An active lifestyle is associated with better physical fitness, and better spine control in 52 year old men and women.
Common sense tells us that active younger people will likely be be more fit middle aged people. At least in Sweden, that common sense statement seems to be true. In the USA, we do not have this type of data to make the same conclusion. This study does make the argument of staying active, to enjoy better health and a stronger back.