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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.

Join The Conversation
pixelhaze pixelhaze 9 years
gumdrops: yeah middle school gave me scoliosis too. I believe that school had to institute a program where each class had its own set for use during the day, so that the kids could keep their own books at home. Came too late for me, though. And the idea of a rolling bag is completely useless. They are hard to maneuver in crowded hallways, up stairs, and around classrooms with desks. They constantly get stuck, flip over, or run over someone's foot. After my first x-ray the doctor had me get one and I was only able to stick it out for two weeks. They are not practical for a school setting.
millarci millarci 9 years
I remember back in high school when my locker was so very far from all my classes and I didn't have time to put my books away before or after class. I would pretty much have to carry all of them. It was awful. Students need more time between classes so they can switch books. Back in high school I only had about 5 minutes. And when your locker is all the way on the first floor and all your classes are on the second floor (plus people who walk ridiculously slow) 5 minutes isn't enough time.
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 9 years
back in middle school, they practically made us tote 4+ giant hardback textbooks to and from school/home. thanks to those 3 years of my life, I now have scoliosis, or curviture of the spine.
gigglesss gigglesss 9 years
tee hee i love watching the freshman walk around with huge bookbags..and they are prety tiny..Theyre going to have some major back problems if they dont start using their lockers lol
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