The weight of schoolbags and the occurrence of neck, shoulder, back pain and psychosomatic factors in adolescents

Marije van de Veer, Charlotte van Gent, Joselien J.C.M. Dols, Henrica C.W. de Vet, Remy A. Hirasing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Study Design. A cross sectional study of 745 young adolescents in the Netherlands. Objectives. To assess the prevalence of neck and/or shoulder and back complaints in young adolescents and to examine relationships with type and weight of schoolbags, and other risk factors. Methods. With a questionnaire complaints of back, neck and/or shoulders and potential risk factors including psychosomatic factors were asked. Length and weight of the children were determined. Schoolbags were weighted and the relative weight was calculated. Results. Neck and/or shoulder complaints and back complaints were reported by about 45% of young adolescents. Severe complaints of neck and/or shoulder were reported by 6%, severe back complaints by 7% of the school children. The (relative) weight of schoolbags was not related to complaints of neck and/or shoulder and back. Psychosomatic factors showed the strongest association with the occurrence of neck and/or shoulder and back complaints.Conclusion. Psychosomatic factors are more strongly related to the occurrence of neck and/or shoulder and back complaints than the type and weight of the schoolbag and other physical factors. The role of psychosomatic factors should be further explored in longitudinal research

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLoad Carriage in School Children
Subtitle of host publicationEpidemiology and Exercise Science
PublisherNOVA Science publishers, Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781616686222
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

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