Heavy rucksacks impair children’s health.
Back pains are an increasingly frequent problem between children and adolescents and the incorrect transportation of too heavy school packs can contribute significantly to this problem.
According to Paulo Pereira, national coordinator of the campaign look behind their backs, “it is increasingly important to sensitize parents and teachers to this problem because students, especially the younger ones, do not realise the excessive weight of school backpacks or posture. Wrong they adopt when they transport them.”
The excess weight on the shoulders caused by the quantity of objects that carry in the backpack may impair the physical development of children and young people, particularly at the level of the musculoskeletal apparatus.
According to the recommendations of the campaign look behind your back, a proper backpack should according to EDUCATIONVV:
- be made of lightweight and resistant material
- Have the same size as the child’s back
- Have padded backs
- Have two padded straps and easy to adjust
- Have compartments so that the school materials are tidy and stabilized
- Should not weigh more than 10% of the weight of the child’s body
- Ideal would be the use of backpacking with wheels when children transport it at significant distances in flat terrain.
Preventing and educating
It is also important that students take to classes only the necessary material that they need for this day of the week.
“The prevention of problems in the spine is mainly due to educators, fathers and teachers, who should be attentive not only to the carriage of backpacks but also to the posture adopted during the lessons, the practice of physical exercise and the symptoms of children,” reinforces Paulo Pereira.
A recent study indicates that seven in 10 people suffer from back pain, i.e. 72,4% of the Portuguese population.
However, almost half of the Portuguese admits that they have never heard of diseases related to back pain. The campaign look behind its back is an initiative of the Portuguese Society of Pathology of the spine, in partnership with the Portuguese Association of General Practitioners, Portuguese Society of Physical Medicine and rehabilitation, Portuguese Society of Neurosurgery and Portuguese Society of Orthopedics and traumatology.