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Pack it Light. Wear it Right.

Tips to ease the strain backpacks can cause


Overloaded backpacks are a source of concern for chiropractors as they see the strain it places on a child’s spine.Here are our recommendations:

1. Choose the Right Backpack: Think about choosing a lightweight backpack; something that is made of nylon or canvas and has the wide, adjustable and padded shoulder straps, as well as a waist strap, to keep it snug and secure to the body.

2. Don’t Weigh it Down: Make sure your child’s pack contains only the necessary items required for that day. The total weight of the back should be no more than 10 to 15 per cent of the wearer’s own body weight. Pack heaviest objects close to the body and place bumpy or odd-shaped items on the outside.

3. The Right Way to Put it On: Put the pack on a flat surface at waist height and have your child slip the straps on one at a time, then adjust the straps to fit comfortably. Remember, when lifting anything, lift using the arms and legs and bend at the knees!

4. Strap Safety: Both shoulder straps should be used and adjusted for a snug fit to the body. Avoid allowing the pack to dangle to the side or sit too low on the back and use the waist strap for added stability (if there is one).

DID YOU KNOW: More than 50 per cent of young people experience at least one episode of lower back pain by their teenage years. Research indicates that this could be caused, in large part, by improper use of backpacks. (Source: Ontario Chiropractic Association)