School backpack check-up time
Do your children carry big backpacks to school and back? If the back-pack is too heavy, or ill-fitted, it could be causing neck, upper mid-back, and general spinal problems. It may be time to check on your child’s school backpack fitting.
There have been numerous studies done in the last few years on schoolbags and adolescent spinal health. One of the main issues is that younger secondary school students between 12 and 14 years of age are still expected to carry large loads in their schoolbags.
The recommended load in a child’s schoolbag is less than 10 per cent of bodyweight, but a study done recently in Ireland showed that children in this vulnerable stage of growth often average 18% of bodyweight in their backpacks; nearly twice the recommended maximum. The largest reported bag weight in the Dublin study comprised 30% of the child’s bodyweight!
The Irish study indicated that 65% of discomfort was distributed between the shoulders in the younger secondary school students, with 30% of discomfort reported lower, in the back.
A recent Australian study showed that neck pain was as common as back pain amongst adolescents. In fact, a recent in-field observational study by the Chiropractors Association of Australia showed that 90% of school-children had poor posture when carrying their backpacks, and could experience spinal injury as a result, while 75% of children weren’t optimizing the ergonomic features of their backpacks properly.
Correctly pack school backpacks
There are a number of recommendations made about correctly packing school back packs to ensure proper posture is encouraged. This includes making sure that the overall weight of the bag is below 10% of the child’s body weight; that the load is packed low in the bag, close to the spine; and that the backstraps are wide to spread the load properly. Back-pack frames should be narrower than shoulder-width, and intelligent use of school lockers should be made to store heavy books between lessons. Planning the school-day’s requirements ahead of time is always a good idea!
The old adage about prevention being better than cure applies here.
To have your family member assessed click on the link https://www.cobramchiro.com.au/contact/