Everybody has got one. You got to have a backpack to carry all your stuff. That’s cool, but it’s not cool to carry your backpack in wrong way and it’s definitely not cool what it can do to your growing body. Nowadays backpack safety is a major concern for school going kids.
You carry your backpack a lot to the school. So be smart and learn how to do it right when it comes to picking, lifting and carrying your pack. Sure you got all those books in school supply’s not to mention your jacket, gym clothes, and computer game you like to carry around. But the heavy load you carrying is potentially hazardous to your health now and in the future. The effective excess weight can cause your spine bend from its normal position causing back pain. These can be quite harmful to your growing spine.
Why backpack safety is important ?
According to the American Chiropractic Association “young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor”
Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of ACA’s Council on Occupational Health said “In my own practice, I have noticed a marked increase in the number of young children who are complaining about back, neck and shoulder pain,”
Today more and more kids at your age are seeking treatment for lower back, neck and shoulder pain that result of incorrectly carrying heavy loads on their back.
These are the problem that can affect you throughout your entire life. So be smart and learn how to pick, lift and wear your backpack. Be aware of your backpack safety. Make it habit early on now while your spine is growing and do it right. Remember yearly spine checkup can help to detect and prevent the spinal problem. It’s not cool to have a health problem caused by carrying a heavy load in wrong way. But it is cool to take care of your spine and your health
Select the right backpack
While buying a backpack it’s important that you select the right one. Make sure the pack is sturdy and properly fitting. No matter how cool the backpack looks it can give you back pain, muscle strain or pinch your nerve. Select a pack with a padded shoulder as this strap are more comfortable and help you avoid pressure on nerves around your arms.
Get a pack with waist straps. They are cool to use because they can support the load taking some of those stress from your spine. Try to buy a backpack with more compartments.
Pack it properly
A typical backpack contain well all kinds of thing like textbook, homework, binders, calculator, laptop, computer game, lunch box, sports equipment, rollerblade, tennis racket, makeup, favorite pet……what? But the more you pack the heavier the load and the heavier the load the more stress you put on your spine. That’s a problem. Only pack what you really need. A loaded backpack should not weight more than 15% of your weight. For example, if your weight is 80 pounds your backpack should not weight more than 12 pounds. Now that computer game you may see small but it take up the room and add weight so leave it at home and either your backpack seen within acceptable weight limit if you have to lean over from the weight of your pack you got too much in it. So lighten it up, make a decision about what can stay and what can go. Only pack what you really necessary. Carefully pack the item in a backpack so that they are all balanced. Distribute the weight evenly inside the backpack.
Lift it right
Be very careful when lifting your loaded backpack as you already seen if you do not do it right you will get yourself in some unnatural position causing stress to your growing body. Lift your backpack as you would a heavy box. Face the backpack, bend at knees and using both hands check the weight of the pack. Lift with your legs not with your back and carefully put one shoulder strap on at a time. Never sling the weight of the pack onto one shoulder. Make sure the weight of the load is evenly distributed. Carry it on both shoulders.
Carry it cool
You carry your backpack to school every day, home each night and back again. 5 days a week as much as 180 days in a year. So let’s say you did about 10 lifts per day and that would be about 1800 lifts a year!!! Let’s say the average weight of your loaded backpack is about 12 pounds. That would mean you lift about 21,600 pounds per year in backpack which is almost 11 tons or 6 full-size automobiles. For 16 years of school that is 176 tons or about 88 full-size automobiles you would be carrying on your growing spine. You might say it’s important and necessary but do it right way.
Many students carry the backpack too low on their back or only one shoulder. It may look cool but this puts unbalanced pressure and strain on the neck, shoulder, lower back and spine and that’s not good. Carry the load high on your neck putting more of the weight on your shoulder. Use both shoulder straps this should be snug but not tight and use the waist straps to stabilize the weight of the load. It’s a good idea to do posture strengthen exercise to improve the strengths and flexibility of your growing body. Doing this exercise now helps to prevent neck and back problem in the future. It’s not cool to carry your backpack in wrong way and it’s really not cool to put stress on your growing body.
Choose a backpack with reflecting color material for your kids. This can ensure your child will be visible in dark. In winter when it gets dark it becomes difficult for driver to see. This light reflecting material can help to identify your kids in dark.
So be smart and do it right when it comes to packing, lifting and carrying your pack. Remember you can do it and you can also do it right.
Brian Millar is the owner and author of Backpackreviewed. Brian spent every possible minute outside. His passion for the outdoors led him to earn a degree in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2010. A guy who is trying to get away from his desk so that he can fish, hike, travel and just be in outdoors!!!