BACKGROUND: The adoption of incorrect postures or carrying overweight backpacks may contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders in school children. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the weight of backpacks and the postural habits adopted in schools by Portuguese adolescents, and their association with scoliosis and low back pain (LBP). METHOD: The sample comprised 966 Portuguese students, aged between 10 and 16 years. The instruments included a questionnaire to characterize the presence of LBP and the postural habits adopted by students, the weighing of backpacks and a scoliometer to evaluate scoliosis. RESULTS: No association was observed between assuming incorrect postures and carrying overweight backpacks, in students with scoliosis. Students who adopted incorrect sitting postures had 1.77 times the risk (95% CI: 1.32-2.36; p < 0.001) of developing LBP; those positioned incorrectly whilst watching TV and playing games had 1.44 times the risk (95% CI: 1.08-1.90; p = 0.012) of developing LBP; and those standing incorrectly had 2.39 the risk (95% CI: 1.52-3.78; p < 0.001) of developing LBP. CONCLUSIONS: The results revealed that students who sat with the spine positioned wrongly, as well as those who were standing incorrectly, were more likely to present with LBP.
- Back disorders
- behavioral risk factors