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The Effect of the Weight of a Backpack on Craniovertebral Angle and Neck Muscle Activities on Some University Students  

Park, Cheon-jun (Department of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Inje University)
An, Duk-hyun (Department of Physical Therapy, College of Healthcare Medical Science and Engineering, Inje University)
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Physical Therapy Korea / v.27, no.1, 2020 , pp. 45-52 More about this Journal
Background: A backpack is available equipment for moving some objects. Most studies have found that the appropriate weight limit of backpack for students is between 10% to 15% of their body weight (BW). However, Some students should carry a backpack heavier than 15% of BW. Therefore, It is associated with abnormal shoulder and neck posture on students. Objects: This study tested the effects that various amounts of weight carried by university students in their backpacks had on their cervical posture and electromyography of neck muscle. Methods: The subjects consisted of 12 students (6 male, 6 female) in university. There were three loading conditions tested: no backpack, a backpack that weighed 10% and 15% of the student's BW. The dependent variables were the craniovertebral angle (tragus to C7) and the neck muscle activities (sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius). All 12 subjects were asked to walk while wearing a backpack for 5 minutes and were then instructed to rest for 2 minutes. Results: When assessing the craniovertebral angle, the results of this study were significantly decreased in the order of 0%, 10%, and 15%. And then, there were significantly increased electromyography of neck muscles that comparison of the weight of 10% and 15% on 0%. It was found that as the weight of the backpack increased, the craniovertebral angle decreased (p < 0.05) and the muscle activities increased (upper trapezius p = 0.012, sternocleidomastoid p = 0.013). Conclusion: Our study recommended that some students shouldn't carry on over the 15% backpack of own weight, and also they should distribute backpack load to equal on body for optimal posture.
Backpack; Craniovertebral angle; Electromyography; Forward head posture;
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