Prevalence of postural deviations and associated factors in children and adolescents: a cross-sectional study

Mariana Vieira Batistão, Roberta de Fátima Carreira Moreira, Helenice Jane Cote Gil Coury, Luis Ernesto Bueno Salasar, Tatiana de Oliveira Sato


Introduction: Postural deviations are frequent in childhood and may cause pain and functional impairment. Previously, only a few studies have examined the association between body posture and intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Objective: To assess the prevalence of postural changes in school children, and to determine, using multiple logistic regression analysis, whether factors such as age, gender, BMI, handedness and physical activity might explain these deviations. Methods: The posture of 288 students was assessed by observation. Subjects were aged between 6 and 15 years, 59.4% (n = 171) of which were female. The mean age was 10.6 (± 2.4) years. Mean body weight was 38.6 (± 12.7) kg and mean height was 1.5 (± 0.1) m. A digital scale, a tapeline, a plumb line and standardized forms were used to collect data. The data were analyzed descriptively using the chi-square test and logistic regression analysis (significance level of 5%). Results: We found the following deviations to be prevalent among schoolchildren: forward head posture, 53.5%, shoulder elevation, 74.3%, asymmetry of the iliac crests, 51.7%, valgus knees, 43.1%, thoracic hyperkyphosis, 30.2%, lumbar hyperlordosis, 37.2% and winged shoulder blades, 66.3%. The associated factors were age, gender, BMI and physical activity. Discussion: There was a high prevalence of postural deviations and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors partially explain the postural deviations. Conclusion: These findings contribute to the understanding of how and why these deviations develop, and to the implementation of preventive and rehabilitation programs, given that some of the associated factors are modifiable.

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