More than half the British population now suffers from back pain, according to a report out today.
The research by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) shows that bad posture was one of the biggest triggers for back pain in Europe.
But in Britain pregnancy was a bigger trigger than any other country surveyed.
Hours of sitting slouched over a computer keyboard has also taken its toll as a quarter of those with back pain said they were office-based.
Germany came out worst in the survey with 67%, followed by Italy with 63%. The UK was third.
In the last year there had been a 5% rise in sufferers with 52% of the UK population now affected.
A quarter of those questioned had been suffering for more than 10 years and this had prevented them from doing things like exercise, housework, lifting, sleeping or playing with children.
It was also having an effect on the economy with one in 20 saying they have taken more than six months off work – that compares with Italy where the figure is just 1 in 500.
Tim Hutchful of the BCA said: ‘The study highlights what a detrimental effect back pain can have on people’s lives. The major thing it prevents is people from doing exercise – adding to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.’