Studies have shown that forwardhead posture, rounded shoulders, and gait imbalance increase when students wear backpacks that are greater than 15 percent of their body weight. These posture issues tend to be higher in children and pre-teens. Improper backpack use can also lead to the development of bad postural habits during childhood that can continue for a lifetime. For all of these reasons, it’s important to choose a backpack carefully and to teach your child to wear it properly.
The following tips are recommended for safe backpack use
Wear both straps.
This will evenly distributes the weight of the backpack and promotes more symmetrical alignment.
Wear the backpack over the midback.
The muscles of the midback are strongest and best able to support a heavy load. Never let a backpack extend below the lower back, regardless of what fashion dictates!
Lighten the load.
Keep the back pack at 10 to 15 percent or less of your child’s body weight. Only those items required for the day should be included in the pack.
The larger a backpack is, the greater the chance for filling it up! And heavy backpacks cause muscle fatigue and soreness. Choose a size that is adequate for the amount of books—but no larger.
Padded back and straps.
This will reduce pressure on the back and shoulders and improve comfort.
These are helpful in distributing the load evenly throughout the backpack.
Extra hip and chest straps.
These straps can distribute the weight to the trunk and hips.
There are a number of signs that your child’s backpack may be too heavy or is being used incorrectly. These signs include red marks across the shoulders, postural changes, difficulty putting on and taking off the backpack, tingling in arms and hands, or general aches and pains in the back, neck, or shoulders. Check in with your child to see if the backpack is causing pain!
Is your child feeling back-to-school back pain? Come into SpineWise Bowmanville for a free consultation to see what our top Chiropractors, Registered Massage Therapists and Laser Therapist have to offer. Call us at 905-623-8388