Volume 6      Special Issue-2018

Association between schoolbag weight with back pain and perceived load among primary schoolchildren in Selangor

Wong Yee Kiat1, Emilia Zainal Abidin1*, Irniza Rasdi1, Noor Hassim Ismail2

1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,

Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

2Department of Community Health, UKM Medical Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Ya’acob Latif,

Bandar Tun Razak, 56000, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



Heavy schoolbag weight has been identified as one of the risk factors that influenced the health of young children. Considering the increased and improved syllabus in the primary schools in Malaysia, the risk of heavy schoolbag weight and its impact on the musculoskeletal health of children needs to be identified. This study was performed to determine the association between schoolbag weight and perceived load with back pain among schoolchildren. This was a cross-sectional study performed among 114 primary schoolchildren in two schools at Selangor, Malaysia in 2015. Background information and perceived load was obtained via self-administered questionnaires from both parents and schoolchildren. Data on height, body weight and schoolbag weight were objectively measured. Data obtained were entered into statistical software for analysis. The average schoolbag weight and relative schoolbag weight were 5.98 kg and 19.7% respectively. The prevalence of back pain was 36.8% and more than one-third of the respondent perceived load as heavy and cause fatigue. Significant associations were found between relative weight and perceived load (heaviness and fatigue) with back pain. Findings of this study suggest that schoolbag weight pose musculoskeletal health risk to schoolchildren. Therefore, there is a need for implementation of policy and guideline as well as intervention in minimising schoolbag weight. 

Keywords: Musculoskeletal Disease, Ergonomic Risk, Adolescents, Knapsack, Heavy Lifting

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