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Classroom postures of 8-12 year old children

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This study examined classroom postures of 8-12 year old school children in Flanders and related the outcomes to self-reported back or neck pain. Postural behaviours using the portable ergonomic observation (PEO) method and self-reported one-week back and neck pain were studied in 105 children from 41 different class groups. Pupils sat statically for 85% of the time, 28% of which the trunk was bent or flexed forward. For 9% of the time, children sat dynamically and for 36% they used a back rest. Children who spent more time sitting with a flexed trunk reported significantly more thoraco-lumbar pain compared to pain-free children and to children with cervical pain (p < 0.05). Children reporting pain stood for a longer period of time than pain-free children (p < 0.05). It is concluded that prolonged static kyphotic sitting without use of a backrest is common in elementary school children in Flanders.
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Keywords: Ergonomics observation; Schoolchildren; Sitting posture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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