The Backpack Weights of Primary School Students and their Backpack Use Status: Do we need to worry about it?

Tufan Asli Sezer, Aslihan Ozturk, Figen Isik Esenay


Improper backpack use can cause various health problems, such as lower back, back, and shoulder pain and postural distortion in children. These problems reduce the quality of life of children and affect their success in their educational lives. This study aimed to determine the weights of primary school students’ backpack and their backpack use status. The results of this study offer a guide for the educational practitioners oriented at gaining positive behaviors by using the right backpack. This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in the fall semester of 2017. The sample comprised 374 students from three different schools in Ankara-Turkey aged 6-11. Data collection was done using a personal information form and checklist for backpack use which was developed based on the related literature. The study used descriptive statistics, independent group t-test and one-way variance analysis (ANOVA) for data analysis. The mean backpack weight was 4.03 kg. The study found that 96.2% of the children wore their backpacks using both shoulder straps, 54.2% of their backpacks were not in full contact with their backs, and 42.1% of the children wore their backpacks below their back and did not use a waist belt. The study determined the mean rate of the children’s backpack weight to their body weight as 14.4%. The study found that backpack weight increases in parallel with the age and the grade of the child. The study reported that backpack weights and improper backpack use among primary school students were high and most of the children carried backpacks that were heavier than 10% of their body weight.

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