Eligibility: twins 18+ years of age.

Is there a link between the amount of physical activity and whether or not someone develops back pain? Researchers from the University of Sydney lead by Professor Paulo Ferreira are trying to answer this very question. The researchers are seeking identical and non-identical twin pairs over 18 years old who have access to the internet, an active e-mail account and smartphone with internet access. You do not need to have experienced back pain to participate as the researchers are looking for twin pairs who have and have not suffered back pain.

What is involved?

The researchers will contact you by e-mail/phone to further explain the details of the study “Effects of physical activity for low back pain”. You will be asked to complete surveys which will ask you questions about:

  • your health including whether or not you have back pain;
  • the type of physical activity you do; and
  • the often you are physically active.

All the surveys are answered online. At the start of the study you will be asked to wear a device would be mail to measure your week physical activity. You will be asked to wear this device again six months later. 

This study will run over a period of 12 months to monitor your lower back pain and physical activity levels. This will be done by monitoring your low back pain weekly, during the 12 months, by sending you a short message service (SMS) asking if you had pain in the last week. The SMS will be sent at a time that suits you and will take less than 1 minute to answer. Once a month during the 12-month study period you will also be asked to answer a physical activity questionnaire which will take about 5 minutes each time.

Who is eligible?

All twin pairs who:

  • are at least 18 years of age;
  • have access to internet, an active email account, and a smartphone with internet access (Please note that all information for this study will be collected electronically);
  • have not had spinal surgery in the last 12 months; and
  • are NOT pregnant.

Please note that if you have not had back pain and currently do not have back pain you are still eligible to participate in this study. If you would like to participate or find out more please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


15th September 2015 – 7th December 2018.

Thank you

A huge thank you to the 168 the twins who have already participated in the study, this has to lead the expansion of this study, since the pilot study was such a success.

Twins Research Australia

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Twins Research Australia is a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and housed within the University of Melbourne.

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