It’s back to school time, and there’s no better time to evaluate and understand the importance of an ergonomically friendly backpack.

In years gone by we have seen a number of different styles of carry bags in which our kids would throw everything into from last week’s lunch to their sporting uniforms still donning the grass stains from their previous wear.  It is a major concern as a chiropractor to see how much stress and strain children today are placing on their spine due to excessive loads in their backpacks.  It has been shown in a recent study that over 50% of children are complaining of back pain by the age of 14, with an increase in incidence of spinal abnormalities detected.  A large contributing factor to this is their school backpacks.  Health experts say children risk long-term and ultimately permanent damage if they regularly carry more than 15 per cent of their body weight over their shoulders, with some children regularly carrying 20-25% of their body weight.

So, as a parent what are the things you can do to help reduce the stress and strain of a heavy backpack?

  • Ensure the backpack is mounted firmly on the top of both shoulders as carrying the backpack over one shoulder is detrimental.
  • Place heavier items such as textbooks in the middle so they are as close to the spine as possible
  • Regularly clean out the backpack and make sure the items packed do not move around too much.


Every child should have their spines assessed for subluxations caused by heavy backpacks, so next time you are in after school, bring your children in for a spinal examination and backpack assessment so we can help you to reduce unnecessary pressure on your child’s spine.


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