Title: Mismatch of school furniture and back pain in adolescents with different maturation levels

Authors: Ana Assunção; Filomena Carnide; Filomena Vieira; Sofia Silva; José Araújo

Addresses: Biomechanics and Functional Morphology Laboratory, Faculty of Human Kinectics, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, Cruz Quebrada, 1495-688 Dafundo, Portugal ' Biomechanics and Functional Morphology Laboratory, Faculty of Human Kinectics, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, Cruz Quebrada, 1495-688 Dafundo, Portugal ' Biomechanics and Functional Morphology Laboratory, Faculty of Human Kinectics, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, Cruz Quebrada, 1495-688 Dafundo, Portugal ' Biomechanics and Functional Morphology Laboratory, Faculty of Human Kinectics, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, Cruz Quebrada, 1495-688 Dafundo, Portugal ' Biomechanics and Functional Morphology Laboratory, Faculty of Human Kinectics, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, Cruz Quebrada, 1495-688 Dafundo, Portugal

Abstract: This cross-sectional study aims to examine the effect on the prevalence of back pain of the mismatch between school furniture dimensions, backpack weight and the anthropometric characteristics of 138 adolescents (1215 years old) with differing maturity levels. The prevalence of back pain was 58%. The results showed a statistically significant association between girls and back pain (OR 4.06; 95% CI 1.31-12.60). Greater differences between desk height and elbow height increase the likelihood of adolescents experiencing back pain (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.081.79), mainly for girls (OR 2.32; 95% CI 1.27-4.26). Conversely, the difference between desk height and the eye height showed to be protective for back pain in girls (OR 0.55; 95% CI 0.350.87) and for the total sample (OR 0.81; 95% CI 0.670.98). These results highlight the importance to study the school environment to establish preventive programmes for back pain in youths.

Keywords: adolescents; school furniture; backpacks; back pain; morphology; physical activity; maturation levels; adolescent maturity; furniture dimensions; backpack weight; anthropometrics; desk height; elbow height; eye height; human factors; ergonomics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2013.055974

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2013 Vol.2 No.1, pp.66 - 81

Available online: 23 Aug 2013

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article