In this digital age why are we continuing to use heavy textbooks?
(PRWEB UK) 21 February 2018
Students throughout the UK are going back to school after their half term holiday this week. And as they do so they have to haul their heavy bags to school and around with them all day. UK based Classoos is calling for a reduction in the weight and the size of school bags. The majority of the weight is made up of heavy text books and printed worksheets yet the technology to replace these with digital formats has been around for years.
With the average weight of a primary school pupils’ schoolbags being 5kg and the average weight of a secondary school pupils bag being 7kg, children are being put at risk of damaged posture and bone developmental issues.
More than half of children surveyed in a recent poll had a school backpack exceeding 10% of their own bodyweight. A heavy weight carried in backpacks can distort the natural curves in the middle and lower back causing muscle strain and irritation to the spine joints and the rib cage. It can also pull on the neck muscles, contributing to headache, shoulder pain, lower back pain, and/or neck and arm pain. And it is not surprising that over 25% of pupils complained about back pain
Those children carrying the heaviest backpacks had a 50% higher risk of back pain
Typically, the heaviest items in a pupil’s school backpack are textbooks followed by photocopied handouts and personal notes. Students taking GCSE examinations may be expected to carry around textbooks from six or more subjects as well as their own notes, coat, lunch and water bottle. This is when they are undertaking significant growth and bone development.
Tim Clark from Classoos UK asked, “In this digital age why are we continuing to use heavy textbooks and why are we continuing to photocopy huge numbers of worksheets? Schools that have adopted digital textbooks have benefited from removing the need for heavy paper textbooks altogether – significantly lightening their load. In addition, these schools have found that they can reduce their photocopying and sometimes stop copying work sheets altogether; instead they distribute and access them electronically saving on weight as well as on printing and copying costs (toner, paper, maintenance).”
Darryl Frerk, a postural alignment consultant based in Windsor (@human_symmetry) said, “I am constantly surprised by the weight of the schoolbags young people carry. I am increasingly seeing young adults who have back, hip and knee issues that I can attribute to their poor postural development. Given the weight of the bags we are asking them to carry it is not surprising. Surely one single device like a tablet would be a much more sensible option in this day and age?”
Tim Clark further commented – “we work with enlightened schools such as Lady Eleanor Holles School, where the head teacher and her senior management team see the benefits to the environment, to the student’s futures and to their postures of investing in digital textbooks.”