[Source: Science Daily]
Undersize school chairs, low desks and overweight backpacks are contributing to chronic back pain in adolescents, according to a study from researchers in Portugal to be published in the International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics.
Ana Assunção and colleagues in the Biomechanics and Functional Morphology Laboratory, at the University of Lisbon, carried out a cross-sectional study of 138 twelve to fifteen-year olds of differing maturity to examine the effect of a mismatch between school furniture dimensions, the weight of their school bags and the student’s anthropometric characteristics.
They found that almost two thirds (80) of the students studied suffered from back pain and that large differences between desk height and elbow height was associated with a greater likelihood of the adolescents having this problem. Girls were more likely to suffer from the desk height discrepancy than boys; 59% of girls and 47% of boys. “Our results also showed that there was no association between backpack weight, body mass index (BMI) and back pain,” the team says.