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3rd formers bear the brunt of heavy schoolbags

A study at Massey University in 2004 by J. Whittfield and S.J. Legg of 140 students with 70 third form students and 70 sixth form students showed that in comparison 3rd form students carried a higher weight load in their school bags than their older compatriots.  In addition to this 77.1% of the 140 students reported suffering some sort of musculoskeletal complaint.

Although the carrying of heavy school bags is not the only potential cause of back injury the research showed that the average load weight for schools bags was 13.2% of the student’s body weight which was above the generally accepted recommended level of 10%. One student was found to be carrying 27% of his body weight made up of two separate bags.

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Heavy School Bags Linked to Back Problems: Three Students Lobbying for Relief

Most children are required to tote heavy school bags to and from school each day, and the load increases as they reach higher grades. Sports clothing and equipment often adds another bag to their load. One recent study found that the daily burden can lead to lower back pain, poor posture, spinal deformity over time and back problems in adulthood.

This weighty problem isn’t unique to South Africa, and in Scotland, three students are fighting for relief...

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