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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


LAINO, Fernando A; SANTA MARIA, Claudio J; BAZAN, Nelio E  and  MAINERO, Daniel D. A study concerning how much weight schoolchildren carry in their bags, involving four schools in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2013, vol.15, n.5, pp.753-763. ISSN 0124-0064.

ABSTRACT Objective Determining the weight children carry in their bags to school (absolute and relative values) and the distance walked during home-school routes, involving students from four schools in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires. Method The study involved 751 primary (4th to 6th grades) and secondary (1st to 3rd years) level students who were attending three private schools and one public one. Body and bag weights were measured and the children were asked about the distance (in blocks) they walked from school to home. The study involved a descriptive analysis and contrasted the students by gender, educational level, type of school and grade or year. Possible associations between variables were ascertained. The group was divided into those carrying bags weighing less than 10% of their body weight and those who carrying 10% (considered a critical value) and more; frequencies were calculated by the type of bag being used. Results 68% of the sample were carrying 10% or more of their body weight (P42=10.13%): 66% in male (P44=10.12%) and 60% in female children (P40=10.2%). Private school students carried more weight than public school children (p<0.05) and younger students carried a greater weight than older students (p<0.05) in both educational levels. Conclusions Most children were carrying relative weights well above that recommended and female students were most affected. Younger students carried higher absolute and relative weights.

Keywords : Schoolchildren's health; back injury; student; school.

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