Classroom Furniture Mismatch and Back Pain Among Adolescent School-Children in Abha City, Southwestern Saudi Arabia.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 04 18; 16(8)IJ
Objective: To explore the potential classroom furniture mismatch with students' anthropometric measurements and back pain related to sitting for extended periods. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out on all twelve male and female intermediate and secondary schools located in Abha city. Anthropometric and classroom furniture measurements were assessed, and the mismatch was determined using standardized methods. Students were also screened for back pain related to long sitting at school. Results: A total number of 879 students was selected. The study revealed seat height mismatch in both intermediate, and secondary school of 84.3%, and 75.6%, respectively. Seat depth mismatch was 74.0% in intermediate schools and reached 84.5% in secondary schools. The desk height was improper for 94.1%, and 82.3% of students in intermediate, and secondary schools, respectively. The levels of mismatch differ significantly by grade level and gender. A prevalence of 10.8% of back pain related to long sitting at school was found. In multivariable logistic regression, males, intermediate school children, and the presence of buttock-popliteal length/seat depth mismatch were significantly associated with pain. On the other hand, practicing exercise was a significant protective factor. Conclusions: There is a prevalent mismatch between students' dimensions and existing schools' furniture. School furniture providers should take in consideration the average Saudi students' dimensions, while designing school furniture especially for males, and at intermediate schools, or provide schools with adjustable seats and desks.