Heavy school bags leading to alarming rise in spinal problems among Chinese students?

7de9dd6fe6a3af5bf198f349e0bef198New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Over 5 million primary and high school students in China currently suffer from spinal deformities, with the numbers increasing by about 300,000 every year, Global Times reported.

The issue trended on China’s social media on Thursday, with many netizens attributing the situation to Chinese students’ heavy schoolbags.

According to a report by China Central Television (CCTV), scoliosis has become the third major disease endangering the health of Chinese children and adolescents following obesity and myopia.

It appears in childhood or adolescence when children and adolescents grow and develop the fastest. Besides, poor sitting postures, carrying schoolbags improperly, and the height of desks and chairs can also be factors that cause the disease.

Females at the peak of their growth are more likely to suffer from the disease, with an incidence rate up to 1.5 times as often as males.

The statistics were estimated based on research conducted by the Committee for Prevention and Control of Spinal Diseases under the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, combined with the consensus of authoritative magazines and domestic experts, CCTV reported.

According to the report, a 13-year-old girl from Hengshui in North China’s Hebei Province was diagnosed with severe scoliosis, which a doctor thought was caused by long-term poor sitting posture. If her condition is not fixed, it could result in uneven shoulders, legs of different lengths, body deformities and other serious consequences, the report said.

On China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo, many netizens attributed the situation to students’ heavy schoolbags, and inappropriate sizes and heights of desks for children in different physical developmental stages.

A netizen pointed out that although Chinese children’s average height is taller today than in the past, the sizes of desks and chairs remain unchanged.

According to Liu Haiying, head of the department of spine surgery at Peking University People’s Hospital, scoliosis is a deformity of the spine that causes it to deviate from the normal midline, which is combined with a rotation of the spine.


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