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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE
A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2010 April;169(2):33-9
Backpack and back pain among school children in Kano, Nigeria
Bello B., Toriola A.L.
1 Physiotherapy department, Faculty of Medicine, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Sport, Rehabilitation and Dental Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Aim. Regular heavy backpack use has been associated with back pain in children trekking long distances to school. We investigated backpack use and back pain among secondary school students in Kano metropolis, northern Nigeria.
Methods. A total of 396 secondary school students comprising, 246 boys and 150 girls who were aged 10-15 years participated in the study. Each student’s body weight and backpack weight were measured using standard techniques. The ratio of students’ backpack weight to body weight was calculated and used to estimate the percentage weight of backpack in relation to body weight. Immediately prior to weighing, the students completed a 12-item questionnaire designed to identify the prevalence and severity of back pain.
Results. A high prevalence of back pain (56.3%) was found among the secondary school students. A significantly positive relationship was noted between percentage backpack weight and the incidence of back pain among the students (r=0.78; P<0.05).
Conclusion. Carrying a heavy backpack could lead to the incidence of back pain among school children. Preventative intervention which should be incorporated into school health education and counseling programmes is necessary.