Armadale Chiropractic Centre

Date: 14th August 2013
Back to School

Australian children are at risk of permanent spinal damage because of incorrectly packed and fitted school backpacks.

Backpack weight is becoming an increasing problem, and studies show that heavy backpacks can lead to both back pain and poor posture in kids going back to school.

This painful trend among children isn't surprising when you consider the disproportionate amounts of weight they carry in their backpacks - often slung over just one shoulder.

Children not only pack heavy schoolbooks, band instruments and running shoes into their backpacks, many of them also tuck away popular electronics -- such as laptops, mobile phones, MP3 players and CD players. Many of these kids are carrying a quarter of their body weight over their shoulders for a large portion of the day.

According to an international study, daily backpack carrying is a frequent cause of discomfort for school children.  School backpacks were felt to be heavy by 79.1% of children, to cause fatigue by 65.7%, and to cause back pain by 46.1%*.

School can be a challenging time for children, so ensuring they are as comfortable as possible is important to their physical and mental development.

Chiropractors are uniquely positioned to educate parents, teachers and students about spinal health care through their minimum five years university training.  Each week, there are approximately 200,000 visits to Australian chiropractors for a broad range of reasons.

Adult back pain and spinal disorders may stem from childhood activities including carrying a heavily loaded backpack for twelve years or more of schooling.  Many of the current bags children are using may be fashionable, but unless they allow for even distribution across the back, they can cause pain.

Some tips to prevent back pain associated with the carrying of heavy backpacks

  • Backpacks should be ideally no heavier than 10% of a student weight when packed.
  • Make sure the backpack is sturdy and appropriately sized - no wider than the student's chest
  • Put comfort and fit at the top of the priority list, rather than good looks
  • Choose a backpack with broad, padded shoulder straps
  • Use both shoulder straps - never sling the pack over one shoulder
  • Use waist straps attached - they are there for a good reason
  • Don't wear the backpack any lower than the hollow of the lower back

Don't send the kids back to school without a thought to their backs and posture.

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880 High St
Armadale, 3143


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