Heavy School Bags and its Association with Musculoskeletal Problems among School Children of Rawalpindi
PHE ePoster Library. Munir F. 09/12/19; 274471; 33
Ms. Fariha Munir
Ms. Fariha Munir
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Abstract Introduction: Backpacks are a ubiquitous mode of transport for school supplies. These are often heavy and thought to contribute significantly to musculoskeletal problems among children. Studies recommend that the weight of school bag shouldn't exceed 10-15% of body weight (PBW). Many parents and health professionals feel these overladen bags need immediate attention and guidance as around 200 children see orthopedics every month with complaints associated with heavy bags.
A cross sectional study with 400 children aged 10-15 randomly selected from 4 schools. Anthropometric measurements and school bag weights coupled with questionnaires and Nordic assessment tool were used to ascertain children's pain. Mann Whitney U-test and Chi-Square test were used to investigate the associations between pain reporting. Binary logistic Regression was applied to determine the strongest predictor.
Children carried bags weighing 2.9-13.3kg. The proportionality to body weight was 16% for public schools and 19% for private schools (p=0.001) while some carried bags up to 35% of their PBW. Higher percentage of pain was observed in private schools and in females. The main pain regions include shoulders 83%, neck 79%, lower back 51%, and feet 47%. Weight, duration and way of carrying bags were found to be statistically correlated with shoulder pain.
Carrying heavy school bags unsurprisingly cause musculoskeletal pain especially in private school children and school girls. Better management and provision of lockers is needed to maintain physical and psychological well-being of children. External funding details
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