Date
23 July 2017
Apart from being susceptible to a host of diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, people who are centrally obese are also prone to lower-back pain. Photo: NowTV
Apart from being susceptible to a host of diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, people who are centrally obese are also prone to lower-back pain. Photo: NowTV

How central obesity leads to lower-back pain

Abdominal obesity, also known as central obesity, occurs when excessive abdominal fat has built up around the stomach and abdomen.

Men who have a waist circumference of 90 centimeters or above are considered centrally obese, while the threshold for women is 80 centimeters.

People who are centrally obese are prone to lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes — and lower-back pain.

Anyone who carries around a heavy tummy may have the pelvis pulled forward and the lower back strained.

Over time, lower-back pain will be the result.

Overweight people should begin doing moderate exercise that can be continued for a substantial period of time, such as striding or cycling, to strengthen their cardiovascular system.

The spine, joints and working muscles will then benefit from an improved supply of oxygenated blood and nutrients.

A certain level of heart rate has to be attained, or else the benefits of cardio exercise will not be achieved.

For instance, healthy adults should exercise until they reach 60-70 percent of their maximum heart rate (MHR), to train up basic endurance and trigger fat-burning.

Just subtract your age from 220 to get your maximum heart rate.

It can be understood as the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activity.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 16.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Registered chiropractor

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