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Backpacks Affect Teen Postures

Thursday, 23 October 2008 15:18

What postural influences do backpacks have on teenagers' spines? To answer this question, researchers evaluated the head-on-neck posture of 985 high school students, aged 12 to 18 years. Specifically, the investigators assessed the craniovertebral angle of subjects wearing backpacks, and not wearing backpacks.

The study found that backpack use significantly altered head-on-neck posture in every age group studied. This finding was most pronounced in younger students. However, increased pack load did not appear to correlate with changes in craniovertebral angle, researchers report - indicating "craniovertebral angle may not be the most sensitive measure of head-on-neck postural change for adolescents."

Grimmer KA, Williams MT, Gill TK   The associations between adolescent head-on-neck posture, backpack weight, and anthropometric features   Spine. 1999 (Nov 1);   24 (21):   2262-2267