Heavy school bags? How much should a child carry?

Heavy school bags? How much should a child carry?

By Kristelle Bechayda

Have you ever wondered just how much weight your child’s school bag should carry as you pack all of his books and other essentials? A new study finally suggests a weight limit to it.

A group of researchers from the University of Granada and Liverpool John Moores University has determined for the first time the maximum weight a child’s school backpack and trolley should carry.

In the study, 49 primary school students were assessed, conducting a kinematic analysis while the children were: Walking freely without carrying any weight, carrying a traditional backpack, and pulling a backpack trolley with different loads (10 percent, 15 percent, and 20 percent of their respective body weights).

By using a three-dimensional optical motion capture system and statistical techniques to analyze the kinematics curves, the researchers found that when using trolleys or backpacks, the greatest adjustment are produced in the children’s hips and trunk. On the other hand, pulling the trolley makes fewer changes in their motion, as compared to carrying the backpack.

Overall, the study’s findings suggest that school children should avoid using backpacks weighing greater than 10 percent of their body weight, while their backpack trolleys should not weigh more than 20 percent of their body weight.

Story from Science Daily.