Comparative Analysis Between Two Distinct Realities Concerning the Transport of School Material

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Ricardo DaggeErnesto Filgueiras

Abstract: This paper presents a comparison regarding the transportation of school supplies by children and pre-adolescent in two different countries with distinct economic and social realities (Portugal and Sri Lanka). This approach focusses on the way how school supplies are transported considering the reality of a European developed country and an Asian developing country. For this, the study of Jayaratne (2012) carried out in Sri Lanka was reproduced in the public education system in Portugal. Attended by 110 students, 56% of which were female, with ages between 12 and 15 years old (M=13.1; S.D.=0.92) from 7th to 9th grade, this study consisted of a survey and an on-site observation that had the purpose of gathering two types of data (qualitative and quantitative) regarding the context of use, the typology of products used and the user himself, of products able to transport school supplies. Major findings revealed that for both realities, the scholar backpack was the elected product (82% vs. 79.6%), by the students, to carry school supplies. However, considering the user interaction with this, it was observed that only 51% of the Portuguese students, in comparison with the 97% of Sri Lanka’s, make a proper use of their backpacks (wearing the two straps of the backpack). Despite the fact that the percentages found in both studies were around 10% of total body weight (respecting the internationally recommended limit placed between 10% and 15%), it is relevant to say that in both cases, the amount of students that reported musculoskeletal discomfort or pain during and/ or after the carriage of their school supplies was around 50%.

Keywords: School supplies, Scholar backpack, Workloads, Ergonomics procedures, Observation methods, Economic and social realities comparison, Musculoskeletal discomfort or pain

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe100777

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