The Indian government has told schools to stop giving students homework and heavy books to prevent spinal damage.
Weight guidelines have been issued for school bags depending on a child’s age after studies showed heavy loads can affect soft, developing spines.
A survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India found 68% of pre-teen children might suffer from mild back pain which can develop into chronic pain and later into a hunchback.
More than 2,500 children and 1,000 parents in major cities were surveyed, with more than 88% of children from seven to 13-years-old carrying more than 45% of their body weight on their backs.
In Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is, full schoolbags should not exceed 10% of the child’s body weight.
Many schools there are now using white boards and projectors so children do not have to carry text books.