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Pediatría Atención Primaria

versión impresa ISSN 1139-7632


ALBEROLA LOPEZ, S. et al. School backpacks and back pain in child population. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.47, pp.385-397. ISSN 1139-7632.

Introduction: backpacks' load is worrisome because of the physical effort made by children and its potential relationship with back problems. Objectives: to know the habits of school bags' use and its relationship with back pain in the paediatric school population. Material and methods: cross-sectional observational study in three primary care centres. We analyze anthropometric and demographic variables and we fill in a questionnaire based on previous studies. Results: one hundred and fifty-nine children were included. They were 80 males y 79 females, aged 11 and 14 years, studying 5o year in primary level (EPO) and 2o year in secondary level (ESO). Sixty-nine percent of them walk to school, 80% carry the backpack in both shoulders, 59% feel tired with it, and 62.3% refer back pain. The mean score of pain is 5 (scale: 0-10). Schoolbag weight is 6.3 kg ± 2. Relative weight is 13.4% ± 5.5 of the children's body weight and it is not different neither between genders, nor in urban-rural site, but differs between ages (15.5% in 5o EPO, 11.6% in 2o ESO; p < 0.001) and type of school (public: 14.3%; concerted: 12.3%; p = 0.02). The relative weight is higher in those students who feel that the backpack is too heavy (14.2% versus 12.2%; p = 0.02), but it is not in those who refer back pain (13.8% versus 12.7%; p = 0.19). We have not found neither differences in back pain with gender and age, nor association between pain and number of TV/videogames watching hours. There is association between pain and number of extra-school sports hours (the more hours, the less pain: OR [odds ratio]: 0.23; CI [confidence interval] 95%: 0.08-0.7). There is a difference in the psychosomatic symptoms score (scale: 0-18), being higher in those who have back pain (OR 1.37; CI 95%: 1.2-1.6). Conclusions: the schoolbags' relative weight is 13.4% ± 5.5. Although we have not found association between back pain and backpack weight, it affects the feeling of discomfort in childhood and it must be considered a health problem.

Palabras clave : Schoolbag; Backpack; Back Pain; Child.

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