BACK PROBLEMS DUE TO HEAVY BACKPACKS IN SCHOOL CHILDREN
Students and backpacks are a common sight today. Backpacks come in all sizes, colors, fabrics, and shapes and help children’s of all ages express their own personal sense of style. Many packs feature multiple compartments that help students stay organized while they carry their books and papers from home to school and back again. Backpacks are, though, they can strain muscles and joints and may cause back pain if they’re too heavy or are used incorrectly. Many students carry school backpacks that exceed 10 percent to 15 percent of their body weight, which puts them at risk for back pain and related disorders. Improper backpack use can also lead to poor posture. Girls and younger kids may be especially at risk for backpack-related injuries because they’re smaller and may carry loads that are heavier in proportion to their body weight. Carrying backpacks increases the risk of back pain and possibly the risk of back pathology. The prevalence of school children carrying heavy backpacks is extremely high. The daily physical stresses associated with carrying backpacks cause significant forward lean of the head and trunk. It is assumed that daily intermittent abnormal postural adaptations could result in pain and disability in school going children. American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the America Academy of Pediatrics advise that students should carry no more than 15% or 10-20% of their body weight.