It’s the start of another school year, which can be a stressful time for both parents and students. The emotional stress involved such as finances, student aid, tuition, school supplies, schedule, etc., can be very overwhelming. In addition, the physical stress of students having to carry multiple, often heavy, textbooks and supplies throughout the course of the day could lead to various health issues and potential injuries. When a backpack is overweight, it causes compensation in body mechanics that includes increased flexion at the hips and back. This additional load and alteration in posture can cause increased strain to the neck, shoulders, and back. In order to reduce the imbalance and strain, avoid wearing backpacks on one side of the body. Due to the imbalance of weight, young girls and small kids are at more risk for injuries and are prone to tripping and falling. A backpack should be worn with both straps over the shoulders and should not hang lower than 4 inches below the waistline. It is recommended that kids carry no more than 10 to 15% of their body weight in their packs. The largest and heaviest flat items should be packed closest to the user’s back. Choosing the right backpack is important for students of all ages. It should include wide padded shoulder straps, a padded lumbar support, and a waist belt if possible. However, keep in mind that larger backpack doesn’t always mean it is better.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please contact Alexandria Spine & Rehab Center at (318) 561-6250. Our mission is to help you achieve “Peak Performance and Optimal Health.”