Employees' preferences for physical activity as a strategy for managing low back pain

The benefits of regular exercise to prevent low back pain are well documented. A big challenge for both practitioners and individuals with pain are how to start and then stick to an exercise program. If an individual could choose the type of exercise program, it has proven to be easier to exercise the activity regularly with better treatment results. Preferences for exercise programs can affect an active lifestyle and thereby prevent low back pain. However, this area is less explored.


Although regular physical activity can prevent recurrent low back pain, many people with this type of problem find it difficult to start or stick to an exercise program. This study aims to both identify and examine attributes of physical activity that are valued and considered relatively important in influencing decisions about participation of individuals with non-specific LBP.


In this study, we elicited individual preferences for physical activity interventions to manage LBP. We examined the effects characteristics of physical activity interventions could have on the decision to choose one activity over the other i.e. preferences. To examine participants’ preference, qualitative traits of exercise therapy are identified and combined in a way that individuals experiencing LBP can choose between treatment strategies. Your contribution is needed in this study as a participant. A Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) that uses attribute-based measure of utility was used in the study.

The study findings identify what characteristics have the best prospects for getting individuals to engage individual in physical exercise for LBP problems. The most preferred form of physical activity was high intensity cardiovascular exercise, performed in groups with a group leader once or twice a week.


Aboagye E, Hagberg J, Axén I, Kwak L, Lohela-karlsson M, Skillgate E, et al. Individual preferences for physical exercise as secondary prevention for non-specific low back pain: A discrete choice experiment PloS one 2017;12(12): e0187709-

Aboagye E. Valuing Individuals' Preferences and Health Choices of Physical Exercise Pain and therapy 2017;6(1):85-91


Emmanuel Aboagye

Postdoctoral researcher
C6 Institute of Environmental Medicine

Irene Jensen

C6 Institute of Environmental Medicine