- OBJECTIVE: To examine various factors associated with low back pain (LBP) in an industrial setting. METHODS: A cross sectional study was carried out among 1,562 employees of a large utilities corporation in Ontario using a self-administered questionnaire. Abdominal muscle strength was measured using a modified sphygmomanometer. Statistical analysis was carried out with Student's t test, chi-square test, and logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Among 1,302 male employees the lifetime and point prevalence of LBP were 60% and 11%, respectively. Low back pain was significantly more prevalent among married employees, with more physically demanding jobs, regular lifting, poor general health, and past major illness. Abdominal muscle weakness was associated with current LBP. The mean time lost from work due to LBP over 5 years was 17 days. Sedentary workers developing LBP were more likely to require hospital admission. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the high prevalence of LBP in industry and identifies several risk factors.