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School Bag Weight and the Occurrence of Shoulder, Hand/Wrist and Low Back Symptoms among Iranian Elementary Schoolchildren

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Author(s): Iman Dianat | Zeynab Javadivala | Hamid Allahverdipour

Journal: Health Promotion Perspectives
ISSN 2228-6497

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 76;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: School bag | Load carriage | Musculoskeletal symptoms | Weight limit | Children

ABSTRACT
Background: Schoolchildren usually use school bags to carry their school materials. Carryingheavy school bags can cause several problems such as musculoskeletal problems amongschoolchildren. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the weightof school bags and the occurrence of low back, shoulder and hand/wrist symptoms amongprimary school children.Method: This cross-sectional, descriptive-analytical study was conducted among a sample of307 elementary school children in Tabriz, Iran. Data were collected using a questionnaire andfrom measurement of the school bag weight, body weight and height of each participant.Data were analysed using SPSS software.Results: The average load carried by schoolchildren was 2.9 kg, representing approximately10% of the children's body weight. Girls and lower grade children carried a greater percentageof their body weights. Approximately 86% of the children reported some kind of musculoskeletalsymptoms. The occurrence of shoulder, wrists/hands, and low back pain amongschoolchildren was 70%, 18.5% and 8.7%, respectively. The results of binary logistic regressionindicated that the school bag weight (expressed as a percentage of body weight) wasonly significantly associated with hand/wrist symptoms (P
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