Despite evidence linking backpack carriage and back pain, previous studies to examine the effects of backpack carriage have focused on changes in physical performance rather than the direct effects on the spine itself. Spinal curvature and proprioception (in terms of spinal repositioning consistency) of 15 schoolboys during normal upright stance without a backpack and while carrying a specially adapted backpack loaded at 10, 15 and 20% of their bodyweight were measured and compared using repeated measures ANOVA. A significant flattening of the lumbar lordosis and the upper thoracic kyphosis was found with increasing backpack load, as well as a significant decrease in the thoraco-lumbar and lumbar repositioning consistencies. Carriage of a loaded backpack causes immediate changes in spinal curvature and appears to have a direct effect on the repositioning consistency. Further investigation of the changes in spinal curvature and repositioning consistency over time with prolonged backpack carriage is warranted. Daily carriage of a school backpack on the musculoskeletal health of children and adolescents has become an area of concern due to the association between backpack carriage and back pain. Data regarding the direct effect of backpack carriage on the spine in children are limited. Copyright © 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
CitationChow, D. H. K., Leung, K. T. Y., & Holmes, A. D. (2007). Changes in spinal curvature and proprioception of schoolboys carrying different weights of backpack. Ergonomics, 50(12), 2148-2156. doi: 10.1080/00140130701459832
- Load carriage
- Spine curvature