The link between your back health and backpacks

The link between your back health and backpacks

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With back-to-school well under way, student’s backpacks are only going to become heavier as they get filled with homework and assignments. It’s important to consider how the weight of a backpack can affect the overall health of your back! Here are some helpful tips to consider when packing and carrying a backpack.

Choose Carefully: Before loading up your backpack, it’s important to make sure you have one that is durable and also comfortable. The best option would be one made of vinyl or canvas that has two wide, padded and adjustable shoulder straps and padded backing.

Pack it Light: Try to only pack what is absolutely necessary for the day and ensure that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the backpack. The total weight of the backpack and its contents should be between 10 to 15 per cent of the wearer’s body weight.

Wear it Right: Although it may seem “cool” to sling the backpack over one shoulder, doing this could be detrimental to your back. Always use both straps and adjust them so the backpack fits snugly to the body. Being able to fit your hand between the backpack and the carrier’s back is a good test to ensure you are wearing it right!

Studies have shown that 50 per cent of young people experience at least one episode of low back pain by their teenage years and one cause of this is thought to be due to improper use and wear of backpacks. Do what you can today to protect your back in the years to come!