Ergonomic Back Pack

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M6601 Human Factors Engineering Fundamentals


Findings on

Ergonomics School Bag Effectiveness

Submitted by:

Alan Tan Teck KeongG0902421F

Koh Han TiangG0902428G

Kok KeeG0902429D

Lim Jia WeiG0902431D

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We are grateful to Mdm Ng Hwee Heng (Principal) and Mdm Patsy Poh (form teacher of P6D) of Jurong West Primary School, who supported us, by agreeing to volunteer their pupils for this study and test, allowing us to gain the necessary result and observation in this report.

Table of Contents

Table of Contentsii
List of Figuresiii
Chapter 1 - Introduction and Objective4
1.2Objective and Scope5
Chapter 2 – Literature Review7
2.1Various studies of lower back pain7
2.2Various studies of backpack9
2.3Case Studies11
Chapter 3 – Appraisal methods and results14
3.2Experiment conducted17
3.3Data collection18
Chapter 4 – Discussion and Recommendations20
4.1Discussion and Results20
4.2Weight of schoolbags21
4.3Schoolbag weight as a % of body weight21
4.4Types of schoolbags and methods of carriage21
4.5Discomfort due to schoolbag carriage21
4.6Distribution and intensity of discomfort21
Chapter 5 – Conclusion22

List of Figures

Figure 1: Student with heavy bag4
Figure 2: Airpacks Backpack6
Figure 3: SPI Backpack6
Figure 4: Structure of the Spine8
Figure 5: Heavy bags alter kids' gait13
Figure 6: Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)18

Chapter 1 - Introduction and Objective

3 Introduction

There is ongoing concern regarding the weight of children’s’ schoolbags and the negative consequences of such heavy loads on the developing spine. There is particular concern for the students in primary schools, as the spine is at a critical stage of development in children between 8 – 12 years of age. This is also the stage at which the bag weight to body weight ratio is likely to be high as some primary students are still quite small but carry loads similar to larger and older children.

It is common knowledge that the school bags of children are getting heavier and heavier, and that is what is weighting on children's shoulders these days. Lugging these big heavy bags to school will eventually leave an impact on their backs. Studies worldwide show that heavy school bag is one of the main cause of back pain.

Figure 1: Student with heavy bag

In Singapore, a typical back pack carry by the Primary 6 student weights about 25-30 kg, while their body weight is only about 40-50kg. Some parent counter heavy school bags by using trolley-style bag. However, due to its size, it is normally getting in the way of others and some schools are objecting it. Moreover, trolley bags are still required to be carried during boarding or alighting of buses and when moving to classrooms which are located on higher levels.

Therefore there is a need to have an ergonomic backpack which students can carry to school without getting their back injured, ideally, to avoid the back injury due to carry the back pack to school, we are suggesting to authorized body (e.g. Ministry of Education) to recommend or issue the ergonomic back pack as the standard school bag for the junior school children to use. .

(to be continued)

4 Objective and Scope

A usability and functionality test, comparing an ergonomic backpack and a normal bag, will be conducted. The objective is to determine how such backpacks will be useful to our primary school students who are carrying school loads that are almost near to their body weight.

The finding of this experiment will also help concerned parents to make wiser choices in selecting...
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