European Spine Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 782–787 | Cite as

Effects of a postural education program on school backpack habits related to low back pain in children

  • Josep VidalEmail author
  • Pere A. Borràs
  • Francisco J. Ponseti
  • Jaume Cantallops
  • Francisco B. Ortega
  • Pere Palou
Original Article



Population based studies have demonstrated that children and adolescents often complain of low back pain. A group-randomized controlled trial was carried out to investigate the effects of a postural education program on school backpack habits related to low back pain in children aged 10–12 year.


The study sample included 137 children aged 10.7 years (SD = 0.672). Six classes from two primary schools were randomly allocated into experimental group (EG) (N = 63) or control group (CG) (N = 74). The EG received a postural education program over 6 weeks consisting of six sessions, while the CG followed the usual school curriculum. A questionnaire was fulfilled by the participants at pre-test, post-test, and 3 months after the intervention finished. The outcomes collected were: (1) try to load the minimum weight possible, (2) carry school backpack on two shoulders, (3) belief that school backpack weight does not affect to the back, and (4) the use of locker or something similar at school. A sum score was computed from the four items.


Single healthy items mostly improved after the intervention and remained improved after 3-month follow-up in EG, while no substantial changes were observed in the CG. Healthy backpack use habits score was significantly increased at post-test compared to baseline in the EG (P < 0.000), and remained significantly increased after 3-month, compared to baseline (P = 0.001). No significant changes were observed in the CG (P > 0.2).


The present study findings confirm that children are able to learn healthy backpack habits which might prevent future low back pain.


Early intervention (education) Schools Public health Back pain Backpacks 



No grant or external financial supports were received for this research. CEIP Establiments and CEIP Gabriel Comas I Ribas, both are primary schools from Majorca, and their students and staff are thanked for their contribution to this research.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josep Vidal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pere A. Borràs
    • 1
  • Francisco J. Ponseti
    • 1
  • Jaume Cantallops
    • 1
  • Francisco B. Ortega
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pere Palou
    • 1
  1. 1.Exercise and Sports Science Research GroupUniversity of Balearic IslandsPalma of MajorcaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at NOVUMKarolinska InstitutetHuddingeSweden
  3. 3.Department of Medical Physiology, School of MedicineUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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