School Backpacks Too Heavy? Researchers Propose Several Measures

Researchers from the Observatory of Educational Resources, based in Porto, today presented a set of measures to help solve the problem of overweight school backpacks, one of which involves assigning one locker per student. In a study carried out by the researchers Adalberto Dias de Carvalho and Nuno Fadigas, to which Lusa had access, 13 measures are proposed that are considered essential to reduce the health effects of overweight children in backpacks, who “not infrequently” (10% to 15% of total body weight among children and adolescents).

The researchers propose the assignment of a fixed room per class, so as to reduce school trips with the backpack, organize schedules that can minimize requests for school material per day and send a list at the beginning of the school year With all the school material necessary for the classes and corresponding to a predictable effective use as well as its temporal staggering.

The authors of the study point out that the excess weight of school backpacks contributes to the health problems of children and young people, such as back pain, gait changes and poor posture, according to the conclusions of several studies, namely the World Health Organization.

Discussions on this issue have been ongoing for many years in many countries, and the observatory’s researchers are calling for concerted action by all the actors involved in this issue.

In the document “The Weight of School Backpacks: contributions for a reasoned reflection” posted on, it is also recommended the organization of schedules capable of minimizing requests for school material per day and the implementation of formative guidelines, namely in the context of the non-curricular area of ​​education for the Health, in order to clarify the students about the good way to organize and transport the backpacks.