Studies exploring the association between physical activity, screen time and sleep and pain usually focus on a limited number of painful body sites. Nevertheless, pain at different body sites is likely to be of different nature. Therefore, this study aims to explore and compare the association between time spent in self-reported physical activity, in screen based activities and sleeping and i) pain presence in the last 7-days for 9 different body sites; ii) pain intensity at 9 different body sites and iii) global disability.
Nine hundred sixty nine students completed a questionnaire on pain, time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity, screen based time watching TV/DVD, playing, using mobile phones and computers and sleeping hours. Univariate and multivariate associations between pain presence, pain intensity and disability and physical activity, screen based time and sleeping hours were investigated.
Pain presence: sleeping remained in the multivariable model for the neck, mid back, wrists, knees and ankles/feet (OR 1.17 to 2.11); moderate physical activity remained in the multivariate model for the neck, shoulders, wrists, hips and ankles/feet (OR 1.06 to 1.08); vigorous physical activity remained in the multivariate model for mid back, knees and ankles/feet (OR 1.05 to 1.09) and screen time remained in the multivariate model for the low back (OR = 2.34. Pain intensity: screen time and moderate physical activity remained in the multivariable model for pain intensity at the neck, mid back, low back, shoulder, knees and ankles/feet (Rp(2) 0.02 to 0.04) and at the wrists (Rp(2) = 0.04), respectively. Disability showed no association with sleeping, screen time or physical activity.
This study suggests both similarities and differences in the patterns of association between time spent in physical activity, sleeping and in screen based activities and pain presence at 8 different body sites. In addition, they also suggest that the factors associated with the presence of pain, pain intensity and pain associated disability are different.