Short-term effects of backpack load placement on spine deformation and repositioning error in schoolchildren

Hung Kay Daniel CHOW, Z. Y. OU, X. G. WANG, A. LAI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Backpack weight of 10-15% has been recommended as an acceptable limit for schoolchildren. However, there is still no clear guideline regarding where the backpack centre of gravity (CG) should be positioned. The changes of spinal curvature and repositioning error when carrying a backpack loaded at 15% of body weight at different CG locations (anterior or posterior at T7, T12 or L3) in schoolchildren were analysed. Both spinal curvature and repositioning error were found to be affected by backpack anterior-posterior position and CG level. A relatively smaller change was observed during anterior carriage with the least change when the backpack CG was positioned at T12. The results also suggested that alternative carriage by changing the backpack position occasionally between anterior and posterior positions might help to relieve the effects of backpack on spine. However, future study is recommended to further substantiate the beneficial effects of alternative carriage on children. 

Statement of Relevance: Anteriorly carried backpack with centre of gravity positioned at T12 was shown to induce relatively less effect on spinal deformation and repositioning error in schoolchildren. Changing backpack carriage position occasionally may help to relieve its effects on spinal deformation. The findings are important for ergonomic schoolbag design and determining a proper load carriage method. Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
JournalErgonomics
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Citation

Chow, D. H. K., Ou, Z. Y., Wang, X. G., & Lai, A. (2010). Short-term effects of backpack load placement on spine deformation and repositioning error in schoolchildren. Ergonomics, 53(1), 56-64. doi: 10.1080/00140130903389050

Keywords

  • Backpack
  • Load carriage
  • Spinal deformation
  • Repositioning ability
  • Children

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