The Effects of Schoolbags on the Health of Students Review Article
Kerbala Journal of Medicine,
Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 2301-2315
choolbags used by students has become the most popular means of carrying belongings to and from school all over the world. The aim of this study is to review the literature and to ascertain the recommended average weight of schoolbags in comparison to child Body Weight (BW), to describe the correct way of schoolbag carrying and to determine risk factors related to carriage of schoolbags in an attempt to suggest the alternatives to avoid or at least to reduce these drawbacks. The majority of reports indicated that schoolbag greater than the recommended weight (10% of student BW) for long period of time might affect the musculoskeletal alignment which will cause back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain in addition to deformities in the stature.
Recent literature focused on schoolbag weight, the manner and duration of carriage, the age and gender of the student which could affect the shoulders, cervical and thoraco-lumber spines of students. A general guideline of 10% BW was initially proposed by a Germans (Voll and Klimt) in 1977. Many of studies later on continued to recommend and emphasize that the schoolbag load should not exceed this limit. The best way to carry schoolbag is on both shoulders with well-padded straps and hip belts for proper distribution of the load. The duration of carriage is also an important factor influencing cervical and shoulder posture and could contribute to and maintain musculoskeletal symptoms. Student age was found to be significantly associated with developing musculoskeletal disorders, especially among adolescent children (11-14 years). Gender was another significant predictor with girls showing more symptoms than boys of similar age. Back pain is the most frequent musculoskeletal problem and shoulder pain was the second most common symptom among children.
Preventive measures such as limiting carrying load and correcting way of carrying are multi-faceted and need to be implemented in cooperation between different authorities including the students and their parents, the Ministry of Education and media in order to achieve these goals.
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