, Volume 47, Issue 7, pp 575-580
Date: 21 Nov 2010

Effect of backpack weight on postural angles in preadolescent children

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Abstract

Background

Carrying heavy backpacks could cause a wide spectrum of pain related musculoskeletal disorders and postural dysfunctions.

Objective

To determine the changes in various postural angles with different backpack weights in preadolescent children.

Design

Cross-sectional.

Participants

Healthy male school-children (n=200), mean (SD) age: 12.5 (0.5) years, from high schools in Mangalore, India.

Measurements

Bodyweight and height were measured using a forceplate and stadiometer, respectively. From the weight recorded, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25% of the bodyweight were calculated and implemented as their respective backpack loads. The Image Tool version 3.0, digitizing software was used for analyzing photographs to determine craniovertebral (CV), head on neck (HON), head and neck on trunk (HNOT), trunk and lower limb angles. Postural angles were compared with no backpack and with backpacks weighing 5% to 25% of the subject’s bodyweight.

Results

The CV angle changed significantly after 15% of backpack load (P<0.05). The HON and HNOT angles changed significantly after 10% of backpack load (P<0.05). The trunk and lower limb angle also changed significantly after 5% of backpack load (P<0.05).

Conclusions

Carrying a backpack weighing 15% of body weight change all the postural angles in preadolescent children.