Sharon swings her backpack, slings it over her shoulder and rushes off to school. She is all of fifteen, weighs 90 pounds and carries a backpack full of books that weighs 20 pounds .
Children, like Sharon, who carry backpacks that weigh more than 20% -25% of their body weight are more likely to develop backaches. Orthopedic experts suggest that backpacks must weigh no more than 15% of total body weight, the lesser the better.
Apart from weighty backpacks, those that do not fit properly or worn improperly can also be possible reasons for backpack-related backaches. Andrew Haig, director of the U-M Spine Program says that, .... wearing a heavy, heavy backpack, when your muscles and your bones arent ready for that, is not a good thing.
Often, students over -pack their backpacks and sling it over one shoulder. This means unequal distribution of weight, putting more pressure only on one side of the body. This can result in muscle spasms, shoulder or lower back pain, posture problems, wear and tear of ligaments in the shoulder, neck or spine. Sixty percent of children get backaches because of backpacks! Recent studies reveal that even children in fourth and fifth grades complain of backache due to heavy bags.
Wearing it Right
Sure, teenage is a time for a great many cool things in life-but it is also the time when backaches happen which can carry on into adult life. So, it is wise to keep that companion on your back the way it should be which is,
Wear the backpack over both shoulders
Carry only necessary text -books and note- books; do not over stuff the backpack with cosmetics and other paraphernalia
Choose a backpack with many compartments; distribute things (and weight, thereby) within the backpack evenly
Do not be tempted to buy cheap backpacks-choose one that is sturdy and fits you
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