The backpack is as much as a part of school life as homework. Students use backpacks to carry everything they need. Unfortunately, the weight of everything they need stuffed into an improperly worn backpack can lead to sore joints and muscles.
Tips for Backpack Use and Preventing Back Pain:
Wear both straps; Slinging a backpack over one shoulder causes a person to lean to one side to compensate for the uneven weight, curving the spine. Over time, this can cause lower and upper back pain, strained shoulders and neck, and functional scoliosis (curvature of the spine). Teenage girls are especially susceptible to scoliosis.
Make sure the backpack is not too heavy; Students should not carry more than 15 percent of their body weight in a backpack. Even when worn properly with both straps, leaning forward to compensate for the extra weight of a full day’s worth of textbooks and a change of clothing for after-school activities, for example, can affect the natural curve in the lower back. Extra weight also may cause a rounding of the shoulders and an increased curve in the upper back. As a result, students may experience back, shoulder and neck pain.