Taking a Load Off

An example of carrying a backpack the wrong way. 

The school year is right around the corner, signalling the end of summer and a return to routine for many parents in New Jersey. School generally requires a backpack, filled with heavy books, calculators, computers and other paraphernalia, so it is worth taking a second to create a plan for your child who will be carrying this weight around all year! Observing a few simple rules can help minimze the kind of bag-induced pain that will create developmental problems and pain for young spines. 

Watch the weight: most experts recommend carrying no more than 15% of the person’s body weight, with 10% a more healthy target. Make sure your child is only taking what is necessary and making use of their locker to store books in between classes. 

Distribute items properly: Loading heavier objects toward the bottom of the bag to prevent strain to the neck.

Use two straps and hip straps: this helps distribute weight evenly so it is not creating a drag on one part of the body, say one shoulder versus the other. Two straps encourages equal distribution between the shoulders while hip straps take some of the burden off the shoulders completely.

Parents and young professionals alike can also benefit from these tips. There are an amazing amount of ergonomic and cool looking packs out there that are just right for the individual. Let us help you pick out a bag that will carry your load without creating a load of problems for you or your child’s spine. Call our office at (201) 342-6111.

Dr. Albert Stabile, D.C.

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