Young adults are paying the price for spending hours slumped in front of the television, it was suggested, after research found that a third of 16 to 24-year-olds suffer from back pain.
Research company Mintel found that young adults and pensioners are suffering from similar amounts of pain.
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The study found that 34% of 16 to 24-year-olds suffer from back ache compared with 38% of over-65s.
Two fifths of Britons across all age groups suffer from back pain, the research found.
Michelle Strutton, from Mintel, said: "The high incidence of back pain in Britain's youngsters is pretty alarming.
"Too much time sitting, weakens muscle tone and this can lead to back pain. Many of Britain's youngsters lead a sedentary lifestyle and lack of sport may well be contributing to back pain as well as poor posture.
"Britain's youth are spending hours at a time slumped in front of TV and computer screens, which is doing nothing to strengthen their backs."
"Back pain is becoming one of society's main issues and accounts for a high proportion of reasons for taking sick leave."
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Mintel said the research also identified the nations top five ailments which are colds and flu, headaches, sore throats, coughs and back pain.
The study also found that women are more likely to complain of headaches than men, with 62% of women saying they suffer from headaches compared with 49% of men.
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