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Heavy School Bags Linked to Back Problems: Three Students Lobbying for Relief

Most children are required to tote heavy school bags to and from school each day, and the load increases as they reach higher grades. Sports clothing and equipment often adds another bag to their load. One recent study found that the daily burden can lead to lower back pain, poor posture, spinal deformity over time and back problems in adulthood.

This weighty problem isn’t unique to South Africa, and in Scotland, three students are fighting for relief...

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Percentage Of Body Weight Carried By Students In School

A cross-sectional study was conducted in three elementary schools in central Texas. All students in kindergarten through fifth grade were invited to participate. A letter, with no direct mention of backpack weighing, was sent to each parent for written consent. Student weights and heights and their backpack weights were measured by trained research assistants.

Results: The mean backpack weights, which increased significantly with increasing grade level, varied significantly by school, backpack type, day of week, body mass index, and race/ethnicity. The backpack loads represented an average of 8.2% (95% confidence interval, 7.8-8.5) of student body weights but...

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