Backpack safety

Heavy bookbags can be harmful to students and may lead to pain


Julie Nguyen

Don’t overflow your backpack with too many binders or textbooks. The weight may create a drag on your shoulders and having to readjust your backpack every 10 minutes is annoying.

After a long day of school, arriving home and taking your backpack off oftentimes brings a sigh of relief. Lugging that heavy load of textbooks, binders and lunch around all day only brings soreness to your shoulders.

Carrying a backpack is something students do every day and is something that is often overlooked.

The risk of carrying a heavy backpack is not discussed throughout school, however understanding the potential dangers of wearing your backpack improperly is important in order to avoid any bodily pain.

Wearing your backpack improperly can bring pain to various parts of your body including your neck, shoulders, back and spine.

According to a survey conducted in Houston, orthopedists found that 60 percent of children experience shoulder pain because of their backpacks.

When choosing a backpack, it may not be the best idea to choose based on style and fashion. Instead make your decision based on how much support it has. The perfect backpack should be big enough to fit in two to three binders and should have proper shoulder support.

Shoulder straps without padding may lead to soreness and will most likely make your journey around school uncomfortable.

For those classes that require several textbooks and binders, it is important not to stuff all of that weight into your backpack. Instead, try carrying some of your books to balance the weight.

Physical therapists recommend students to carry no more than 10 percent of their body weight as the heaviness of your backpack can pull you back leading to bad posture.

Carrying a backpack improperly can also affect the people around you. When walking from class to class, your backpack may swing into the person behind you when turning the corner or when maneuvering through the cramped hallways.

To reduce the risk of injuring others and yourself, wear your backpack properly at all times and be aware of the risks your backpack carries. Although style may be important to you, comfort should always come first.