Packing a Backpack

It’s back to school time, which means it’s time to dig out the backpack and fill it with stuff for school. Did you know that children in Grades JK – 8 should keep their backpack at less than 10% of their bodyweight? Older students can carry up to 15% of their bodyweight in their backpacks. Keeping the backpack at an appropriate weight, and making sure it is packed correctly can help prevent injury and muscle imbalances. Read for tips to properly pack, carry and weigh your backpack!

Backpack Weight:

Weight is key when it comes to backpack safety. Children should carry no more than 10% of their bodyweight on their back. This means that a 50lb child should carry 5lb or less. A highschool or post-secondary student should carry no more than 15% of their bodyweight. A 130lb student should carry no more than 20lbs in their backpacks. Here are some tips to keep the weight low:

  • Carry an empty refillable water bottle. Once at school, fill the bottle using the water fountain.
  • Carry your lunch bag in your hand.
  • Only carry the books and supplies you need for that day. Leave the rest in your locker, or at home.
  • Regularly clean out the backpack, to avoid needless accumulation of papers and containers.

Weighing the backpack:

Want to see how much your backpack weighs? First, step on a scale while wearing your packed backpack. Write the number down. Next, take the backpack off and weight yourself again. Subtract this second number from the first. The remainder will tell you how much your backpack weighs.


Carrying your Backpack:

  • Pack the heaviest items closest to your body.
  • Pack oddly shaped or sharp items on the outside of the pack so they don’t dig into your back
  • Use both arm straps – never sling the backpack to one side
  • Adjust the shoulder straps so the backpack fits snugly on your back. Wearing your backpack too low will cause you to lean forward and puts strain on your upper back.
  • Use the waist ┬ástrap. This helps transfer to the load to your hips and reduces strain on your back.

Aug 31, 2017 | Category: Blog, Chiropractic, Community | Comments: none | Tags: , , , , , ,

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Waterloo North Chiropractic & Massage has been encouraging healthy living in the Kitchener-Waterloo community since 1990.

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