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Approved Research

The impact of physical activity and lifestyle on spinal muscle size.

Principal Investigator: Dr Jon Fulford
Approved Research ID: 74278
Approval date: September 29th 2021

Lay summary

Aims: We are interested in the role physical activity and lifestyle has in maintaining spinal muscle size and strength.

Scientific rationale: The spinal muscles are important for achieving normal daily activities, as they play a role in controlling stability, balance and movement. Given this, the role general activity plays in the maintenance of spinal muscle capacity (of which size is strongly correlated) is of particular interest.

Project duration: The aim will be to undertake all analysis within 6 months.

Public health impact: A reduction in the functional capacity of spinal muscles may be due to a number of diseases, physical incapacity or simply due to lack of tailored exercise. Dysfunction of the back or spine, which may be associated with decreased spinal muscle size, can lead to significant disability, with worldwide, back pain being a major health problem. In addition, the likelihood of falls has also been shown to have an association with decreased functional spinal muscle capacity. Thus, an examination of how general physical activity impacts on spinal muscle volume can provide useful insight on the long term maintenance of back and spinal health.