Postural habits and weight of backpacks of Portuguese adolescents

are they associated with scoliosis and low back pain?

Beatriz Minghelli, Raul Oliveira, Carla Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-208
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2016



  • Back disorders
  • behavioral risk factors
  • epidemiology
  • teenagers

Cite this