Background Data are mixed on the role of school bags in the occurrence of low back pain in pupils.
Objectives Thus, we carried out this study with the aim to determine if the school bags were a factor associated with low back pain in Cameroonian schoolchildren.
Methods We performed a cross-sectional study between December 2015 and April 2016 in 10 primary schools of the city of Douala, Cameroon. A questionnaire was submitted to the students of these different schools. Informed and signed consent of their parents were obtained. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected, as well as the weight of each school bags. A p<0.05 was significant.
Results We included 1075 pupils (543 boys, 532 girls). The mean age was 11±1 years (8–16 years). BMI was normal in 928 children (86.5%). The prevalence of low back pain was 12.3% (132 children: 81 girls and 51 boys). Sixteen children had already met a physician for low back pain.
The mean weight of the school bag was 4.9±1.9 kg, with 369 children (57.7%) with a school bags weight ≥15% of their body weight in private schools compared with 56 (12.9%) in public schools. We had 99 children with low back pain with a school bag weight ≥10% of their body weight (Table 1). We didn't find any relationship between low back pain and the weight of the school bag, regardless of gender, BMI, age of pain, type of school, distance from home to school, way of transportation, and age (p>0.05). However, the exception was found in girls aged from 8 to 10 years with a school bag weight >15% of their body weight (p=0.05).
Furthermore, in univariate analysis, factors associated with low back pain were (p<0.05): age, history of low back pain in at least one parent, competitive sport, a bad seated position on school benches. In multivariate analysis, factors associated with low back pain were female, competitive sport, and low back pain in at least one parent (Table 2).
Conclusions The weight of the school bags was not associated with low back pain in Cameroonian schoolchildren (except for girls aged from 8 to 10). However, female, competitive sport and low back pain in at least one parent were associated to low back pain.
Disclosure of Interest None declared