Concerns have been raised over recent decades about the backpack or school bag weight for children worldwide. School going children face a major problem because of the heavy weight which they carry to school everyday as it leads to many problems such as a bent posture and decreased work efficiency. The effects of different backpack weights on the kinematics of the spine and the trunk have been studied. The prescribed weight to be carried by children has been determined to be 10-15% of their body weight, however children end up carrying up to 30% of their body weight, which is much more than they should be carrying. A strong correlation was found between habitual heavy backpack carriage and spinal symptoms such as fatigue, muscle soreness, back pain, numbness, rounding of the shoulders, shoulder pain and even spinal deformity.
From the reviewed literature, information regarding the contents of the backpack itself to see how it could result in better load distribution is still lacking. In this study, design changes were introduced in the backpack to observe the changes in load distribution pattern of the backpack and the consequent changes in the heart rate variability. Also, how these design changes would facilitate load distribution over the upper torso such that the load is not concentrated on the trunk alone but is distributed over the trunk.
|Keywords:||Gait, Posture, Balance, Backpack, Arm Straps, School Children|
Research Scholar, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India
Research Scholar, New Delhi, India
Professor, Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India