Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Effect of Backpack Weight on Postural Angles in Pre-Adolescence School Children

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Effect of Backpack Weight on Postural Angles in Pre-Adolescence School Children

Article excerpt

Today in this competitive world students from very young age have to teach numerous subjects to gain rigorous knowledge, it is nothing but essential to use the right of books. The problem rising in this scenario is that although these books provide knowledge, they are rather heavy for children. The heavy school backpacks are more of a burden than a means of imparting knowledge for these kids. The backpack is one of the several forms of manual load carriage that provides flexibility and is often used by hikers, and soldiers, as well as by the school children (Knapik et al., 1996). It is the appropriate way to load the spine closely and symmetrically while maintaining stability. The majority of children use a backpack to transport their belongings to and from school on a daily basis.

Although, backpacks are the best, but it is essential to make sure that they are not too big or too heavy as children's back are both strong and flexible. However, the spine is notjust a single bone, but a collection of bones stacked neatly on each other with intervening spongy discs that serve as shock absorbers and support the whole structure. The vertebrae remains neatly stacked and cause pressure whenever children's carry a backpack. Thus excessive weight on the children back muscles is a serious issue of concern because at an extent it is posing a threat to overall postural integrity.

Therefore young children suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor. Most often students carry their belongings with only one strap slung loosely over the shoulder. What they do not realize is that the use of bag packs is not just a fashion statement. School backpack alter the student's unloaded posture and reposition it into a more strained and stressed, improper, potentially unbalanced posture, with the addition of external force. The weight of the bags varied considerably, even within one class. It is clear that most of the school children (89.5%) had heavier bags than the 10% norm issued in Austria and Germany (Mehta, 2010). Therefore in today's life there is a growing concern among the teachers, medical professionals and parents over the increasing incidents ofbackpack related injury in school children (Iyer, 2000). Thus the present investigation was carried out to assess the postural imbalance and its effects on craniovertebral angle (CVA), craniohorizontal angle (CHA) and saggital shoulderposture (SSP) of girls andboys because of heavy backpack.



Experimental research was planned among 30 students, viz. 15 (50%) boys and 15 (50%) girls aged between 10 to 13 years. Random sampling technique was used to select the samples by using the random number tables. The children were students of 7th class of CBSE affiliated school in Meerut city of U.P. India. The school follows CBSE prescribed syllabus for all the classes and has no locker facility. The height, body weight and weight of school backpack were measured by taking the consent from the school principal.


Inclinometer instrument was used to measure the cervical and shoulder angles as Craniovertebral angle (CVA), Craniohorizontal angle (CHA) and Saggital shoulderposture (SSP).

The CHA angle formed at the intersection of a horizontal line through the tragus of ear and a linejoining the tragus of ear and the external canthus of the eye, was measured. It is believed to provide an estimation of head on neck angle or position of upper cervical spine (Raine & Twomey, 1994). CVA angle termed at the intersection of a horizontal line through the spinous process of C7 and a line to the tragus of the ear. This is believed to provide an estimation of neck on upper trunk positioning .a small angle indicates more forwardheadposture (Wickens & Kipath, 1937). The SSP angle formed by the intersection of a horizontal line through C7 and a line between the mid-point of the greater tuberosity of humerus and posterior aspect of the acromion, was measured. …

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