Postural changes due to heavy bags in school children

Nowadays, most schools ask their students to carry all textbooks and notebooks to schools, unmindful of the fact that this may cause postural changes among children while carrying heavy loads. Many children often complain of pain in their lower back or spine or neck or shoulders as a result of which they get postural discomfort and cannot play or engage in sports activities with other children on playgrounds and elsewhere where sports are held. This has caused a serious concern among children, parents and school authorities.

All the states in India should, in fact, emulate the example of Maharashtra which has imposed a restriction on schools to disallow students from carrying school bags which exceed ten percent of their body weight. This restriction means a student who weighs 50 kilograms should carry only 5 kilograms of weight. Carrying bags full of books can cause young children to develop serious spinal problems.

When a student carries a heavy bag, his or her body will have to compensate by tilting forward to counter the effects of gravity. This will change the alignment of the child’s posture and increase strain on the spine. The bag’s weight might also damage the muscles of upper shoulders due to compression.

It is quite possible that children might not show symptoms of pain immediately. However, in the long term, they may develop imbalances in the body and this may affect the health of the nervous system. Parents are advised to ensure that their children have the quality of backpacks, with should pads that are carried on both shoulders and not on just one shoulder. Moreover, the children also should be encouraged to be more active in order to strengthen the spine and have them examined by a doctor on a regular basis.

When the alignment of the spine is imbalanced, the communication between the brain and the body is affected badly. Proper alignment and movement of the spine are essential to brain health. Impulses created by spinal movement charge the brain like a battery and this is the reason why people feel energized after performing exercises and get tired after sitting whole day.

Parents are advised to communicate with the school teachers if they find on doctor’s advice that the school bags of their children are very heavy and are affecting their posture.