“Backpacks” and How to prevent injuries associated with them

It’s the beginning of the school year again and I thought it would be helpful to provide some information about backpacks and how to prevent injuries associated with them.  As a general rule, backpacks with their contents should not weight more than 10% of the body weight of the individual wearing them.  That sounds like a nearly impossible goal, based on the amount books that children have to carry around while at school.  Planning exactly what is needed in the bag and utilizing lockers at school can help to reduce the amount being carried at any one time.  If you don’t need the materials for the next class, try to drop them off at your locker and go back for them later.
If reducing weight is not a possibility, you should at least be wearing the backpack properly, using both straps.  The strap should be adjusted so the backpack isn’t sagging, which will keep the bag closer to your center of gravity.  These techniques can help reduce problems associated with carrying the excess weight, but certainly will not eliminate injuries from potentially occurring.  Here is a link discussing the side effects of carrying a heavy backpack: https://www.rd.com/advice/heavy-backpack-every-day/

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