The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

05 October 2011

Ergonomically Correct Backpacks for Students

By: Cath Genovia, ASP Program Assistant

ASP continues to give current and interesting topics like “Applying Ergonomics to Children with Special Needs”. The topic was discussed by Ms. Thea Sheila Ocheda-Alonto (OTRP,OTR) last August 27, 2011 at the Asian Social Institute, Malate, Manila.

The word Ergonomics comes from two Greek words "ergon", meaning work, and "nomos" meaning "laws". The word is used to describe the science of "designing the job to fit the worker, not forcing the worker to fit the job." Ergonomics covers all aspects of a job, from the physical stresses it places on joints, muscles, nerves, tendons, bones and the like, to environmental factors which can affect hearing, vision, and general comfort and health.

Ergonomics for Children with Autism is further discussed in the September 18, 2011 issue of Angels Talk.

One of the ergonomic issues discussed is the use of School Backpacks. Some guidelines given were the proper use of backpacks, its load, size and features. To demonstrate the proper use of backpack, ASP Executive Director, Ranil Sorongon, was asked to give the proper demonstration of using the backpack and how to put things in the backpack to balance the load.



Participants were surprised to be informed of a local initiative that was passed by Senator Lito Lapid last September 2010. Senate Bill 2179 aims to address issues related to school backpack use.

According to the bill, pediatricians and chiropractors have observed that many grade school and high school students are suffering from back pain due to carrying heavy backpacks. Overloaded backpacks can be a possible source of “chronic, low-level trauma” that can result to chronic shoulder, neck and back pain in children.

The bill proposed limiting the amount of weight of bags carried by children in school and implementing proactive measures to protect school children’s health from the adverse effects of a heavy school bag.

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Be an Angel for Autism. Donate generously to ASP Programs and Services. Donate to Autism Society Philippines Metrobank Kamias Branch - SA 047-3-04751874-2. Email us at autismphils@gmail.com or call 926 6941/ 929 8447.

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