Poor sitting posture and a heavy schoolbag as contributors to musculoskeletal pain in children: an ergonomic school education intervention program
AI Syazwan1, MN Mohamad Azhar1, AR Anita1, HS Azizan1, MS Shaharuddin2, J Muhamad Hanafiah3, AA Muhaimin4, AM Nizar5, B Mohd Rafee1,6, A Mohd Ibthisham7, Adam Kasani7
1Environmental and Occupational Medicine Unit, Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; 2Environmental and Occupational Health Unit, Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; 3Health Services Management Unit, Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; 4Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; 5Pharmacology Unit, Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; 6Ergonomic Division, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia; 7Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate a multidisciplinary, interventional, ergonomic education program designed to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems by reducing schoolbag weight and correcting poor sitting posture.
Methods: Data were collected twice before and twice following intervention using the Standardized Nordic Body Map Questionnaire, a rapid upper limb assessment for posture evaluation, and schoolbag weight measurement in children aged 8 and 11 years attending two schools within the central region of Malaysia.
Results: Students who received the ergonomic intervention reported significant improvements in their sitting posture in a classroom environment and reduction of schoolbag weight as compared with the controls.
Conclusion: A single-session, early intervention, group ergonomics education program for children aged 8 and 11 years is appropriate and effective, and should be considered as a strategy to reduce musculoskeletal pain among schoolchildren in this age group.
Keywords: ergonomic, education, intervention, assessment, musculoskeletal pain, school children, awareness
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