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Don't Overstuff That Backpack

Don't Overstuff That Backpack

It is back to school time for many of us or our kids. While backpacks are much more ergonomic than over the shoulder bags, you shouldn't carry around an overstuffed bag.


Last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 7,300 injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms due to excessively packed backpacks. Sprains and strains being the most common complaints, which are considered "over use" injuries.

Symptoms of these injuries include: soreness, pain when wearing the backpack, tingling or numbness, red marks on the shoulders or back, as well as struggling to take off or put on the backpack. The American Occupational Therapy Association recommends that children carry no more than 15 percent of their body weight on their back. So if a child only weighs 100-pounds his or her backpack should only weigh 15 pounds. I think adults should consider following this prescription as well.

To avoid overuse injuries consider suggestions offered by CNN :

  • Consider using a rolling bag, especially if you or your child have a narrow frame.
  • Find backpacks with wider straps since they more evenly distribute the force over the shoulders.
  • Thin out the contents of the backpack to only carry the essentials.

Looking for a new, ergonomic backpack? Check out this one by Kata, part of my must haves for September.

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