Schoolbag weight limit: should there be a cut off?


  • Srikanth S. Bhat Department of Pediatrics, SS Institute of Medical Science and Research Center, Davangere, Karnataka, India
  • Vinay Kumar S. Department of Pediatrics, SS Institute of Medical Science and Research Center, Davangere, Karnataka, India
  • Sharanabasappa S. Dhanwadkar Department of Pediatrics, ESIC Medical College, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India
  • Ashwini Kumari N. B. Department of Pediatrics, ESIC Medical College, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India



Bag weight, Regulations, School bag, School children


Background: School children are at a development age and it is important that they do not carry excessive loads. Heavy school bags can change the body posture and the musculoskeletal system must react appropriately in order to compensate for this stress. There is still no consensus about a guideline for weight of school bags. The objective of the present study was to asses the bag weight in school going children, Compare the bag weight with the whole-body weight of children, Percentage of bag weight to whole body weight at different age groups.

Methods: 727 children (413 males and 314 girls) were examined from different schools in Davangere. Descriptive analyses and measures of central tendency were performed on the demographic data to describe the sample.

Results: Overall 21.7% of children carry a bag which is >25% of their body weight, 46.5% children are carrying a bag >20% of their body weight and 74.7% of children carry a bag of >15% of their body weight. 40.9% children between 8-10 years carry bag of >25% and 39.8% of them between 11 -13 years carry bag of >20% and this is statistically significant (p = 0.000).

Conclusions: The weight of schoolbags of school children were higher than the internationally acceptable standards in majority of school children. The school authorities and ministry of health should further evaluate and take the necessary steps to rectify the situation. Early intervention and good regulation can prevent long term complication.


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