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Table 4 Associations of CLBP pain intensity and disability in the pre-pandemic vs. pandemic group

From: Association between chronic low back pain and regular exercise, sedentary behaviour and mental health before and during COVID-19 pandemic: insights from a large-scale cross-sectional study in Germany

Disability Pre-pandemic group (n = 2,088) Pandemic group (n = 1,390)
Moderate Disability
OR (95% CI)
High Disability
OR (95% CI)
Moderate Disability
OR (95% CI)
High Disability
OR (95% CI)
Regular exercise
  No exercise Reference Reference Reference Reference
  2–4 h/week 1.13
(0.76, 1.68)
0.80
(0.54, 1.21)
0.62 +
(0.36, 1.08)
0.42 *
(0.22, 0.83)
  > 4 h/week 0.71
(0.45, 1.13)
0.57 *
(0.36, 0.92)
0.38 **
(0.20, 0.71)
0.29 **
(0.13, 0.64)
Sitting
  Less than half of the day Reference Reference Reference Reference
  At least ¾ of the day 1.00
(0.71, 1.42)
0.77
(0.53, 1.11)
1.18
(0.80, 1.74)
0.63 +
(0.38, 1.03)
  Almost all day 0.96
(0.64, 1.44)
0.84
(0.55, 1.29)
0.99
(0.63, 1.55)
0.75
(0.43, 1.33)
Mental health
  PHQ-4 sum score 1.16 ***
(1.08, 1.24)
1.42 ***
(1.33, 1.52)
1.35 ***
(1.25, 1.46)
1.73 ***
(1.58, 1.90)
Pain Intensity Low intensity
(base outcome)
High intensity
OR (95% CI)
Low intensity
(base outcome)
High intensity
OR (95% CI)
Regular exercise
  No exercise   Reference   Reference
  2–4 h/week   0.91
(0.67, 1.24)
  0.87
(0.54, 1.41)
  > 4 h/week   0.65 *
(0.45, 0.94)
  0.67
(0.38, 1.17)
Sitting
  Less than half of the day   Reference   Reference
  At least ¾ of the day   0.96
(0.73, 1.27)
  1.04
(0.73, 1.48)
  Almost all day   0.96
(0.69, 1.34)
  0.94
(0.63, 1.41)
Mental health
  PHQ-4 sum score   1.22 ***
(1.16, 1.28)
  1.36 ***
(1.28, 1.46)
  1. Disability: Adjusted disability model stratified into pre-pandemic vs. pandemic groups
  2. Intensity: Adjusted intensity model stratified into pre-pandemic vs. pandemic groups
  3. CI Confidence interval, CLBP Chronic lower back pain, OR Odds ratio
  4. +  < 0.1
  5. * < 0.05
  6. ** < 0.01
  7. *** < 0.001