Here are some helpful backpack-wearing tips that will help minimize spinal stress:
1. Wear both straps evenly, and avoid the one-strap styled back packs. Uneven distribution of the load causes postural compensations and spinal stress.
2.When putting on and removing backpacks, bend at the knees or put on the backpack from a higher level, such as on a desk or table. Sudden twisting motion adds to the potential of injury – especially in the lower thoracic/upper lumbar spine.
3. Arrange the backpack so it rests evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and permit free movement of the arms. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the lower back.
4. Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the student’s body weight.
5. Carry only those items that are required for the day. Students (or parents) may be able to request additional copies of textbooks (or digital copies!) that can be kept at home instead of hauling heavy books back and forth from school.
6. Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back.
When was the last time your child had a spinal check-up? Call us at 203-355-2830 to schedule one today!
And just in case you missed it, here's a great video featuring some parents who are VERY excited about school starting...
Read more in Pathways: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org