THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN GRADE, GENDER, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, AND BACK PAIN AMONG CHILDREN CARRYING SCHOOLBAGS
To examine the association of age, gender and physical activity levels with the occurrence of shoulder, neck, upper back and lower back pain while carrying schoolbags.
Six hundred fourteen boys (N = 293) and girls (N = 321) between 1st and 9th grade (age: 6-14 years) participated in this study. The study analysed pain symptoms while carrying schoolbags, student perceptions of schoolbags, physical activity levels, schoolbag weight and anthropometric characteristics. Logistic regression models were used to examine how the recorded factors contributed to the occurrence of pain and interacted with one another.
More than half of the students reported body pain when carrying their schoolbags. Of these, 25.9% reported pain in their necks, 50.3% in their shoulders, 37.5% in their upper backs, and 20.8% in their lower backs. Girls experienced pain more frequently (x2 = 18.743) than boys. Grade, gender and schoolbag weight did not contribute to pain. In contrast, higher physical activity levels were associated with lower pain incidents (p <0.05). Students who felt fatigued while carrying schoolbags had a 2.455 (95% CI = 1.489-4.046) times greater chance of experiencing pain than those who experienced no fatigue. Girls after 5th grade were 1.161 (95% CI = 0.974-1.384) times more likely to develop pain than boys of the same age. Girls with low physical activity levels had a 3.170 (95% CI = 2.409-4.171) times greater chance of reporting pain as compared to more physically active boys.
Pain when carrying schoolbags is a significant problem in schoolchildren. Low levels of physical activity and high fatigue levels are significant contributors to pain experienced by children when carrying schoolbags, and the problem is more intense in girls and in older children.
Autor / Fonte:Despina Papadopoulou, Paraskevi Malliou, Nikolaos Kofotolis, Maria I Emmanouilidou, Eleftherios Kellis. ARCHIVES OF EXERCISE IN HEALTH AND DISEASE, VOL 4, NO 1 (2014)