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Going Safely Back to School

Australian children are at risk of spinal damage because of incorrectly packed and fitted school backpacks.

Backpack weight is becoming an increasing problem, and studies show that heavy backpacks can lead to both back pain and poor posture.

Some tips to prevent back pain associated with the carrying of heavy backpacks:

  • Backpacks should be ideally no heavier than 10% of a student’s weight when packed.
  • Make sure the backpack is sturdy and appropriately sized – no wider than the student’s chest.
  • Put comfort and fit at the top of the priority list, rather than good looks.
  • Choose a backpack with broad, padded shoulder straps.
  • Use both shoulder straps – never sling the pack over one shoulder.
  • Use waist straps attached – they are there for a good reason.
  • Don’t wear the backpack any lower than the hallow of the lower back.
  • Don’t overload the backpack – use school lockers and plan homework well in advance.
  • Place all heavy items at the base of the pack, close to the spine, for a better distribution of the weight.

Chiropractic care has been proven to be effective, and can restore correct function and relieve pain symptoms associated with the carrying of heavy backpacks.

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